Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taco Pasta Casserole

If you haven't figured it out yet, I really enjoy casseroles. They are comfort on a plate, and they make great leftovers. I run into trouble finding casseroles that are healthier. So many American casserole recipes are based in creamy condensed soup and/or covered in cheese. I was very excited to see this recipe from Joelen's Culinary Adventures, as Joelen is one of my favorite bloggers out there, and I knew she wouldn't have any condensed soup in her casserole. The best part of this casserole recipe is that it is adaptable. If I don't have one of the ingredients, I can toss in something else, and I can certainly adapt this to more in season vegetables if I want. As expected, this casserole was great as leftovers, too.

Taco Pasta Casserole (adapted from Joelen's Culinary Adventures)
1/2 lb dry short whole wheat pasta
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
2 Tbs Taco Seasoning
2 Tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 bell pepper, diced (mine was yellow)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup salsa (I used Medium)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
1 green onion, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, fill with water and let it come to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly under done. Drain. Meanwhile, in a saute pan, add the oil and saute onions until softened. Crumble in the ground turkey and brown. Add the taco seasoning, tomatoes, and bell pepper strips. Saute until vegetables soften. Add beans and salsa then add salt & pepper to taste. Toss the ground beef and vegetable mixture until incorporated. Top the pasta with shredded cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and lightly browns. Before serving, top with sliced green onions for garnish. Serve hot and if desired, serve with guacamole and/or sour cream.

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