Friday, June 7, 2013

Easy Cheesy Taco Bake

Just the name makes me hungry.
Easy Cheesy Taco Bake.  Another weeknight savior in my house.
The amazing leftovers are a plus, too.

There are millions of versions of this out there I'm sure and this is obviously my favorite.  Part of why I think so highly of this humble taco bake recipe is because I've been eating it for over 25 years.  That probably carbon dates me to an uncomfortable number but I'll go with it.  This is my Dad's recipe and this was something we always had in our weekly meal rotation growing up. 

As an adult I now understand the power of a recipe that has you literally beat up a bag of chips and throw stuff in a pan to create a delicious dinner.  Thanks, Dad.

Simple? Sure.  But tried and true.  And simple trumps exotic in the "you'll actually make this" category every time.  

Here's what you'll need.  Pretty straightforward.

Once your ground beef is cooked and drained, add it back to the pan and mix in your taco seasoning packet.  Then pour in your enchilada sauce and stir.

Finally, add in your beans and give it another quick stir. 

Now comes the really hard part.  Ready?  Crush up your tortilla chips.  I usually just grab about a third of the bag and do it right over the pan but you could just crush the whole bag at once.  Fun for the kiddos.

And we assemble!  Next comes the meat mixture.

Still with me?  Now comes the cheese.  

Repeat this two more times.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. 

 It's easy.  It's cheesy.  My Dad is awesome.

Easy Cheesy Taco Bake
Adapted from my Dad's recipe

1 regular-sized bag tortilla chips (I like yellow corn but you can use any kind)
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1 15.5oz can black beans (Dad always used pinto beans but black are my favorite.  Use what you like)
4 cups shredded cheese (I use half monterey jack, half sharp cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook ground beef thoroughly in a large skillet and drain.  Return it to the pan and add the taco seasoning and mix well.  Add the enchilada sauce, mix, then add the beans and mix until everything is combined.  Crush about a third of the bag of tortilla chips (I just do it in my hands right over the pan) and cover the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Then layer a third of the beef mixture on top, followed by a layer of cheese.  Repeat this 2 more  times, ending with cheese on top.  Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, onion, chive, guacamole - what ever you like with your tacos.

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