I’ve been on a quest to find some meals that I can prepare and freeze. I get into a cooking funk in the winter and with the impending arrival of the mini-Craig, I have no doubt my desire to cook with all but exist come December.
If you know anything about Wisconsin, you know that we love cheese. Between being born a cheesehead and his affinity for boxed/canned meals, Craig obviously adores mac & cheese. I can’t seem to get enough Mexican food the past six months. Put those facts together and you find the Mexi Mac & Cheese recipe that Shay created for her blog, Mix and Match Mama.
I made a few minor adjustments – just because I have a husband that doesn’t love vegetables. That, and the original recipe calls for a whole pound of pasta. Do y’all know how much a pound of pasta is!? It’s a lot. I cut that portion in half and I still think there are a few too many noodles. But, it’s delicious nonetheless.
Taco Mac & Cheese
1/2 lb pasta (I used elbow)
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbs taco seasoning*
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small (4 oz) can of chopped green chiles
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 c milk (I used 2%)
1 c Mexican blend cheese, shredded
Boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Ensuring it’s al dente and not overcooked is important if you want to freeze any portion of this meal.
Meanwhile, brown the beef and drain. Return beef to pan and add chili powder, bell pepper, and chopped green chiles. Reduce heat and saute until veggies are tender.
In small pan, melt the butter. Stir in flour and stir constantly for about a minute. Stir in milk and reduce heat to low. Stir another minute and then stir in cheese. Stir until the cheese and melted and mixture becomes thick and creamy.
Drain pasta and add it to the ground beef mixture. Pour the cheesy sauce over the beef/noodle mixture and stir until combined.
You don’t need to do anything special when preparing whichever recipe you choose; just make sure that when you cook your pasta, you keep it al dente. That will help stave off the mushiness you’re concerned about.
If you check out Jane’s post, she has some other tips about prepping this classic, cheesy pasta dish for future enjoyment.
*My all-time favorite taco seasoning is by Wildtree. I don’t get anything for saying that. Promise. But, it’s all natural & organic and has just the right amount of kick to it. If you’re looking to try something new, give it a go!
What are some of your favorite prep and freeze meals?