Casseroles serve as a comforting, hearty, and even sometimes – nostalgic family meal. This Southwestern Casserole is wonderful and easy to make. It will be one your family loves, and a nice addition to your dinner rotation. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
- 1 (1 lb) box uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large white or yellow onion chopped
- 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 (14-1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
- 3 teaspoons prepared taco seasoning mix
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt add more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Mexican Style cheese blend use more or less as desired
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped (mix inside or sprinkle on top + optional)
Cook the macaroni until al dente (al dente will be a few minutes less than the package directions), drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, over medium heat cook ground beef until no longer pink. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain and absorb the grease.
In the same skillet sauté the onion over medium heat until translucent, then add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes making sure not to burn the garlic. Return the cooked ground beef to the skillet. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste, green chilies, taco seasoning, garlic salt, chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the drained macaroni into the mixture, mix until combined.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Transfer macaroni mixture to a large greased baking dish. Sprinkle the top with Mexican Blend cheese and jalapeno. (Split in two if needed and freeze one for later.)
Cover with foil (spray the underside of the foil with non-stick cooking spray to keep the cheese from sticking to the foil), and bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes and bake until bubbling and heated through.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cover with foil (spray the underside of the foil with non-stick cooking spray to keep the cheese from sticking to the foil), and bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes and bake until bubbling and heated through.