So, I was standing in my kitchen the other night, staring at this pound of ground beef on the counter.
I have a love/hate relationship with ground beef. It’s like, there are so many things I can do with it, but when I have it in my freezer, I don’t always know what to do.
After contemplating it for a while, I embarked on a google search that led me to Pinterest. Either the things that were posted didn’t sound good to me, or I lacked some key ingredient that I couldn’t get away with substituting. In my searching, I came across a taco pasta bake, but the recipe just seemed like it needed something MORE. I went through my pantry to figure out what I could add to it without screwing it up, and I had success! It was definitely the fire roasted diced tomatoes that made the dish. Well, that and the taco flavor. Obviously.
This was actually so delicious that I made it twice in one week. That really NEVER happens in our house. I usually rotate recipes so that we don’t have the same thing all the time, but it was just so good, I couldn’t NOT make it twice within a few days. I will say this though, this dish is best prepared with a larger pasta like ziti or penne. The second time around, I used elbows, but it went too fast and I accidentally cooked the elbows longer than I should have. It was MUCH better the first time when I made it with the ziti.
You can use a packet of ready-made taco seasoning if you’d like, but I really suggest making your own seasoning, using my recipe here. Not only is it better for you because you know what you’re putting into it, but also because the smoked paprika gives it a delicious smoky flavor that you just can’t get with the store-bought taco seasoning. Take my word for it on this one, you’ll love it!