Back to School Meals – This Taco Bake is an easy weeknight dinner. Make a double batch and freeze one for later! Makes Freezer Cooking easy!

Easy Taco Bake

Back to School Meals:  Easy Taco Bake

Let’s face it, with even one kid, Back to School time can get crazy and hectic.

It is often filled with new school activities and events, parent meetings and so much more.

Back to School Meals can be a real challenge when life gets this busy.

I have 5 teenagers so you can imagine how crazy and hectic my Back to School time is each year.

I have one remaining kid in middle school and 4 in high school this year.

Two of them are seniors and will be graduating this year, so already we are seeing how much more of a challenge that is. Our year is going to be busy.

Quick & Easy Back to School Meals are exactly what I am looking for, especially right now as we get into a routine and schedule and learn how we will manage it all this year.

When I was asked if I would host this week, I jumped on the chance to host a Back to School Meals theme because I knew it was exactly what I needed to get inspired. Something near and dear to my heart.

And inspired I definitely am, our team of food bloggers did not disappoint – they shared some fantastic recipes and already I can meal plan for a couple of weeks with all these great dishes.

Easy Taco Bake

I chose an Easy Taco Bake for this weeks Back to School Meals.

It was a simple choice because my kids love it and I can make extra each time I make it and freeze one.

I do this a lot during the school year. I make a meal, but I double the recipe and create an extra one. It’s kind of the quick way to do a freezer cooking session which I am also very big on during the school year.

One weekend a month we dedicate to preparing meals for the upcoming weeks that can be frozen and thrown in the crock pot or oven with little to no prep ahead of time.

Great for those weeknight meals when the unexpected occurs and I don’t have time to think, let alone prepare something for dinner.

Easy Taco Bake
Let’s make a Taco Bake for an Easy Weeknight Meal!

Have you ever made Easy Taco Bake? Tell me about it in the comments below!

You are not going to believe the quick and easy Back to School Meals that the team has put together for you this week.

Recipe for Taco Bake

Taco Bake Featured Image

Back to School Meals: Taco Bake

Nicole Cook
Back to School Meals – This Taco Bake is an easy weeknight dinner. Make a double batch and freeze one for later! Makes Freezer Cooking easy!
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 594 kcal


  • 16 ounce penne noodles
  • 1 pounds ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 ounce taco seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounce cheddar cheese shredded


  • In a large pot, boil the noodles until they are cooked to your liking. We don’t like our noodles al dente, so we don’t do that, but if you’d like that, go right ahead.
  • Drain the pasta and set aside for a few minutes.
  • In a pan, brown the ground turkey or the ground beef, depending on your choice.
  • Once the meat is browned, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the top of the meat, and then pour the cup of water in.
  • Mix it all together in the pan and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the four ounces of cream cheese into the meat mixture and stir until it is melted.
  • Put the pasta back in the large pot and then pour the meat mixture on top. Mix together and heat over low to medium heat.
  • Sprinkle ¾ of the shredded cheese into the Taco Bake and stir until melted.
  • Serve in bowls and divide & sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over each bowl.
  • Serve immediately for a wonderfully quick weeknight dinner!
  • If Freezing an extra batch:You will need to double this recipe to get two batches. Each batch serves 4-5 people.
  • In the first step, remove half of the noodles when they are al dente even if you like them all the way cooked – don’t worry they will get a chance to cook more.
  • Follow steps 2-4.
  • Next, in a casserole dish mix together the meat mixture and the noodles. Add the entire bag of shredded cheese. and stir until melted.
  • Add ¼ cup of water.
  • Cover the casserole dish and freeze.
  • When you are ready to serve it, there are two ways you can do this.
  • THAWED CASSEROLE: If you have thawed the casserole, keep covered and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Uncover and stir the pasta. Return it to the oven uncovered for about 5-10 minutes more.
  • FROZEN CASSEROLE: If the casserole is frozen, pop it in the oven covered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and stir. Return to oven for another 15-20 minutes watching closely so it doesn’t burn. I usually stir it every 5 minutes or so, so the noodles don’t get all hard and crunchy.


Calories: 594kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 38gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 733mgPotassium: 446mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1095IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 305mgIron: 2mg
Keyword easy pasta recipes
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  1. Great recipe, and I love your idea of setting aside some time each month to batch cook – I do it when I remember but I need to do it more! Brilliant #SundaySupper Nicole, you are a great host!

    1. I batch cook, a lot! lol It’s an addiction but it’s great when we’re too busy to be bothered. Also saves money because we aren’t as tempted to grab take out or fast food – good for both my wallet and my wait line 😉
      Thank you so much Katy!!

  2. Great recipe and I love that you can make it ahead of time. That I need to get better at. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I love this week’s theme. Thank you so much for planning and hosting this week’s #SundaySupper. Awesome recipes!

    1. Thank you so much for allowing me to host this theme! 🙂 This has been so much fun, albeit a lot of work and I admire that you do this each week. So looking forward to this evening and our live chat! Great group of recipes this week!

  3. Nicole, thanks so much for hosting such a great theme for this #SundaySupper. I gain lots of useful tips for quick and easy recipes. And yours, i love the idea of frozen the taco, great idea!

    1. Well, you’re quite welcome. This is one of those themes that I think can fit just about any busy time in life. I’m glad you have learned and gained a lot! 🙂 Looking forward to chatting this evening!

  4. First I want to say what an incredible job you have done with hosting this week’s #SundaySupper event. I love your recipe and have been looking for different types of pasta dishes. This one ties together Mexican and pasta and it is just great!

  5. I crave tacos quite often, but I usually don’t have all of the fixings handy (mainly the salad part). This is perfect! I’d probably top mine with sour cream and tomatoes. Or maybe just mix tomatoes in, but I’m thinking the raw tomatoes would freshen it up a bit. Either way, thanks for sharing!

  6. First of all, thanks for hosting this awesome #sundaysupper! And second of all, this dish sounds tasty and comforting and i’m all over the idea of batch cooking. Discovering a frozen dish in the freezer that I made a month ago is like finding the ultimate Christmas gift! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love the idea of a pasta with the great taste of tacos! Thanks for sharing and for hosting such a fabulous #SundaySupper

  8. Thank you very much for hosting this week Nicole and hope you had a wonderful birthday. Wow, 4 kids in high school and you do all that you do. You are one amazing women. Not only does this dish sound wonderful for a back to school meal but it would make a great house warming gift or meal for a friend who just had a baby!

  9. Well, I was intrigued by just the title. And I was convinced upon reading cream cheese. lol This looks really tasty, and I’m certain it would be a big hit in my family. I’ll be giving this a try after grocery shopping this week. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. I just made this last night… it didn’t look as nice as yours, but it was SO delicious!!!! Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tonight! 😀

  11. Picked up some 8″ disposable pie trays the other day to fill the freezer with easy, tasty meals for DH and I. I did add some fresh corn niblets I cut off a cob that needed to be used, and I threw those into the mix, along with a few extra tablespoons of water. Went from freezer to toaster oven for lunch today. VERY tasty with a salad! Thanks for posting this recipe which has made my life a lot easier!

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