I came up with this kid-friendly Southwestern recipe one afternoon when I was using up leftover spaghetti and ground beef. When I'm lucky enough to have extra time, I make two batches and freeze one. —Johanna Van Ness, Wichita, KS
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 2/3 cup salsa
- Preheat oven to 350°. Break spaghetti into thirds; cook according to package directions for al dente.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in beans, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese and salsa. Drain spaghetti; add to beef mixture and toss to combine.
Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole, covered, 55-60 minutes or until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Taco Spaghetti in Simple & Delicious December/January 2014, p1-18
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