Friday, March 19, 2010

Southwestern Casserole

I wanted to try out this recipe for 2 reasons: #1...because it makes 2, one to eat now and the other to freeze for another time, and #2...I had all the ingredients already in my pantry and I didn't want to have to run to the store for anything! It was actually better than I though it was going to be and was a real crowd pleaser with the kids. They all loved it...which is another bonus!!:)

Southwestern Casserole
Recipe from Taste of Home

7 ounces elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each)diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I think this would be better with black beans...I'm going to try that next time:))
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (I used cheddar...didn't have Monterrey and it was still good, but I think Monterrey would be better.)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (optional, if you like the heat...I left them off because me and a couple of my kids are wimps that way!)

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.

Transfer to two greased 2 quart baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Serve one casserole. Cool the second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Cover and bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
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