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Recipe-On-The-Box Trilogy: Part II – Taco Casserole & Refried Beans

Part Two is a family favorite found on the side of Ortega Taco Shells box. It’s a recipe for Taco Casserole. They make great leftovers as is, or serve heated on a bed of lettuce and tomatoes as a “taco salad.” Yum! And bonus, it’s less messy than tacos. To stretch out this meal, I make a quick and filling side of Refried Beans (from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, p. 194). Enjoy!

Taco Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Taco Sauce – Medium
  • 4 ozs. Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided 
  • 1 package  Taco Seasoning Mix – Regular
  • 1 package (4.5 oz) Taco Shells (12 ct), broken
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/8 cup sliced green onions (optional)

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375F.

COOK beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned; drain. Stir in water, taco sauce, chiles, 1/4 cup olives and seasoning mix. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

LAYER half of broken taco shells on bottom of greased 12 x 8-inch baking dish. Cover with half of meat sauce; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat with remaining shells, meat sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Top with remaining olives, tomatoes and green onions.

Refried Beans from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves: 6
Start to Finish: 25 minutes

Ingredients

3 (15.5 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup water
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
Salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 c minced fresh cilantro (optional)
Tabasco

Directions

Process the beans and water in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. (I used my hand blender). Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, jalapeno, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the pureed beans and cook until the beans are thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro (if using). Season with salt and Tabasco to taste.

© Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen 2011-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (text and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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    © Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen 2011-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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