Food & Swine

Easy Taco Pasta Bake

This recipe is one I’ve wanted to try for a while.  The older version (original) is one I found on Pinterest a few years ago.  I changed the recipe (surprise surprise!) to accommodate what I had on hand plus what we like to eat.  My Dad of all people said it was ‘wonderful’ and somewhat spicy but he had wished I’d sent more home for him to eat when my Mom was here the other night.  This is so easy, it pulls together in about 10-15 minutes and is on the table ready to dive into within another 20.

Try this dish using ground pork, ground beef or even ground turkey.  Ground pork is easy to come by around here and suits this dish splendidly.

This could easily be assembled the night before or morning before you’d expect to eat it, refrigerated all day and just held in the oven about 10 minutes longer to account for the refrigerator chill.  Everything is cooked and ready to go, you don’t really even need to put it in a casserole dish and heat it in the oven if you don’t want to.  Just serve as you would a goulash, per se. Scoop onto plates, garnish with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips and green onion tops if desired.

This is the perfect quick and easy supper for a dreary rainy day like we had yesterday.  No one could get anything important done and I swear I yawned at least 1,000 times because that type of weather makes me so sleepy!

Everyone is tucked away in the shed until it dries up.


Sleepy day…


Sleepy… until I got home and decided to tear apart my containers to plant new herbs in for this summer.  Thank goodness I did this after I assembled the casserole.  My fingernails are as long as they’ve been in the last 5 years.  They look disgusting, but there is something deliciously ethereal about working the Earth’s soil with bare hands.  (Next mission: cut fingernails, stat.)


Back to the cookin’, good lookin’!


Taco Pasta Bake

by: Cristen


1 lb. ground pork (could use ground beef or ground turkey)

1 lb. box of shaped pasta of choice (ziti, penne, cellentani, etc.)

1 package Taco Seasoning

1 C water

1 can of diced tomatoes/green chilies, drained

1 can of corn, drained

1 8 oz block of cream cheese, or low fat cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 C sour cream (may use chive, french onion or other flavored sour cream if desired)

2 C shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese, divided

Garnish suggestions: Cilantro (only if you like it), crushed tortilla chips, green onion tops only/chopped, sour cream.

Brown ground beef in a medium sized skillet.  Meanwhile, boil noodles according to package directions, stopping 2 minutes shy of the prescribed time for al-dente cooked noodles. (They will cook more in the oven later on, you don’t want to over-do it in the pre-cook or else you will have mushy noodles, eww.)  Once cooked, drain noodles and ground beef.  Set noodles aside.

Add taco seasoning, water and tomatoes to ground beef. Stir and bring to a simmer, and hold at a simmer for 3 minutes.  Add corn, stir well. Add cream cheese cubes and sour cream.  Stir well until combined. Remove from heat, add 1 C shredded cheese and stir until well mixed.  Combine beef/cheese mixture with noodles, fold together gently.

Grease a 9×13 pan with  nonstick spray. Pour in noodle mixture.  Top with remaining 1 C shredded cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. (*if you like a crisp browned cheese crust on top, babysit this dish under your broiler for a few minutes.  Don’t leave it or it may burn!)  Remove from oven and serve warm with a garnish of additional sour cream, crushed up tortilla chips or Doritos and chopped green onion tops.

Serves 6-8

Here’s a picture of the dish prior to baking.  I was in the middle of a few things, sorry for the uninspired photos.  I’d like to think of them as non-fussy… just like this dish.




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  • Reply Sandi April 28, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Going to try this recipe Tuesday evening at 6:00 P.M. at the Fries home. Anniversary dinner for the two lovebirds(19 years) Fun for us stay at home kids. Anniv. cake to follow!!

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