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Queso Taco Pasta Bake - I made this vegan by subbing the dairy products and using black beans and some seitan crumbles in place of ground beef. Not super healthy... but delicious.
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared mild salsa
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, mild
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 pound small pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds until bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high while whisking until thickened. Takes 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese and salsa, turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, cooking until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Add tomatoes, cumin and lime juice, stir to combine.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water.
  5. Transfer beef, noodles and queso to a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.


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