Jul 5, 2011

Freezer Cooking - Taco Casserole

I'm not a huge menu or freezer cooking planner, but I do like to get meals in the freezer when I have the opportunity.  Instead of planning out a big freezer cooking day, I just try to make huge amounts of whatever I'm cooking for dinner that evening.  I always fry my ground meat ahead of time and store it in one pound amounts in the freezer.  That way I can just grab a bag and heat it up.  Lately I've been combining ground chuck with ground turkey.  So yesterday afternoon I decided to make taco casserole (Luke's favorite).  It probably only took five minutes longer to make two casseroles instead of one.  Each casserole, when served with sides, feeds us two meals, so we got four meals out of one cooking session.  Yeah, less cooking for me! (I baked the first casserole, and I froze the second casserole, unbaked.)

Taco Casserole

12 taco shells, coarsely broken
1.5 lb ground meat
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 lg. tomato, cut in wedges (optional)
6 stuffed green olives, sliced (optional)
taco sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place half of the shells into a lightly greased 6-cup baking dish.  Brown meat and drain.  Add taco seasoning, onions, and water.  Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.  Stir in tomato sauce.  Spoon meat mixture over taco shells.  Sprinkle with 1.5 cups of cheese.  Sprinkle remaining taco shells over cheese, and then the remaining cheese over the shells.  Arrange tomato wedges and olives on top.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Serve with taco sauce. 

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