Monday, January 27, 2014

Taco Beef & Rice Casserole


1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 pkg (1.25) Taco seasoning
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes in sauce
1 can (14 oz.) corn, undrained
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 cups rice, cooked
2 cups shredded cheese
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In 3 qt. sauce pan, brown ground beef.  Drain and add back to pan.  Add Taco seasoning, tomatoes, corn, and cream cheese.  Mix well and heat over med. high heat until cream cheese has melted and mixture is smooth.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Mix rice and 1 cup of the cheese.  Spread evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.  Gently pour meat mixture over rice.  Cover with 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with crushed chips and bake another 5 minutes.  Serves 8.

Comments:  This recipe originally called for Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Cream, which I couldn't find in my local grocery store so I made do by using the Taco seasoning and regular cream cheese.  It also used just part of the cream cheese in the meat sauce with the balance being added along with the shredded cheese.  I added all of my cream cheese and seasonings to the mixture.  I also increased the amount of cheese and tortilla chips.  The original called for 1 cup of each.  I eliminated the onions, only because I forgot them and changed from fire-roasted tomatoes to diced with sauce.  This recipe and my changes are the perfect example of Thinking With My Taste Buds.  And boy was this dish a hit with my food testers.
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