Friday, April 24, 2009

Cheesy (and Easy!) Taco Bake

I had some taco seasoning mix but wanted to steer away from boring tacos for dinner... then came this Cheesy Taco bake. This was very easy and used ingredients I already had on hand. It was a nice change of pace to regular tacos! Ole!

1-1/2 cups cooked rice (or small-shape pasta)
1-lb ground turkey (can use ground beef or chicken)
1 packet taco seasoning
15-oz tomato sauce
8-oz package cream cheese, softened (reduced-fat is fine)
1/2 cup sour cream (used fat-free)
8-oz shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
Taco sauce or Hot sauce (optional)
Tortilla chips (optional)

1. Cook rice or pasta, according to directions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-qt Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.
2. While the rice or pasta is cooking, brown ground meat; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in a separate bowl.
4. Spread the cooked rice/pasta on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer on the cream cheese/sour cream mixture. Layer meat mixture next, and top with shredded cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with taco sauce or hot sauce. Dip with tortilla chips.

Comment: The flavors were somewhat mild for our tastes. Next time, I will use:
- Pepper-jack cheese
- Instead of regular rice, I'll try adding more flavors (do a cilantro/red onion/lime rice, similar to Chipotle.)
- Diced green chiles or jalapenos

Source: Adapted from Lemons & Love


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