Tonight's meal is super delicious in that "I hate to admit I sorta miss Taco Bell sometimes" sort of way. It is definitely gluttonous, but thankfully not quite to the standards of this website. It combines the best of two worlds: Macaroni & Cheese and Tacos.
The recipe came from a magazine, most likely something from a Taste of Home publication. It was very quick and easy to make, with minimal simple prep. Matt made the macaroni & cheese for the meal (because every time I make mac & cheese it turns out bad!!), while I prepared the meat.
The flavor was pretty good on this recipe as well. You could also alter it to your tastes, maybe you want to add some additional spices, or other vegetables like cooked green/red pepper, jalapeno, tomato, or even corn! The recipe actually included black olives, but since I'm not a fan, we didn't use them.
The type of salsa you use will also alter the taste of the meal. We used some mango salsa we had on hand and it made the dish a bit sweeter.
A great bonus is that you use crushed tortilla chips, so if you've got some nearly empty tortilla chip bags lying around (please tell me I'm not the only person who opens a new bag before the last one's crumbs are gone!!) you can put those to good use!
This meal's recipe says it makes 8 servings, and that is true!! My serving was an eighth of the pan, and it was definitely a good size serving. I can't report on calories for this one, although it probably wouldn't be hard to figure out that it would be fairly high. Enjoy this one in moderation!!
Macaroni Taco Bake
-2 pkg. (7-1/4 oz each) macaroni and cheese dinner mix
-1 lb. ground beef
-1 cup chunky salsa (we used Newman's Own)
-2 cups crushed tortilla chips
-1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained (we omitted these)
-2 cups (8 oz) shredded taco cheese (we didn't use the entire amount)
-Sour cream, optional, for topping
Make macaroni and cheese according to the package.
Brown the ground beef and drain. Stir salsa into ground beef and set aside.
Spread the macaroni and cheese into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
Layer with beef mixture, chips and olives. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Serve with sour cream if desired.