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!
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.
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.
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. Just look at what they’ve made!
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad by Magnolia Days
- Double Duty Fajita Chicken: Nachos Supreme and Enchiladas by Doggie at the Dinner Table
- Lemon Dillled Salmon Croquette Burgers by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking
- Gluten Free Pepper Steak with Rice by No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
- Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce by Shockingly Delicious
- BLT Soup by Meal Planning Magic
- Korean Pan-Fried Fish by Kimchi Mom
- Stove top mac ‘n cheese by Gotta Get Baked
- Deconstructed Enchiladas by In the Kitchen with KP
- Croque Monsieurs by Juanita’s Cocina
- Summer Squash and Mushroom Quesadillas by Chocolate Moosey
- Seared Lamb on a bed of Mashed potatoes with Artichoke Hearts by Cooking Underwriter
- Pasta with creamy kale pesto by Webicurean
- Baked Spanish Tortilla by Happy Baking Days
- Garlicky Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beans by The Lemon Bowl
- Shredded Chicken in Peanut Sauce Tacos w/ Corn & Zucchini Sauté by GirliChef
- Pollo a la Crema by La Cocina de Leslie
- Baked Tilapia Fish Tacos by Home Cooking Memories
- Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken with a Yogurt Dill sauce and a Greek Salad by Noshing with the Nolands
- Ricotta – Tofu Tomato Toasts by Yummy Smells
- One Pot Spicy Asian Chicken and Rice by Hezzi D
- Turkey Italian Brown Rice Casserole by Momma’s Meals
- Flatbread Pizza with Cilantro Garlic Sauce by Mom’s Test Kitchen
- Cashew Chicken Stir-fry by Diabetic Foodie
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Quesadillas by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Potluck Casserole with Cornbread Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes & Writings
- Jerk Chicken Chili by Mrs. Mama Hen
- Loaded Chicken and Steak Stuffed Potatoes by Big Bears Wife
- Steamed Tofu Serve with Fried Mix Vegetables by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Pasta with sausage and cherry tomatoes by Tora’s Real Food
- Chicken Ravioli with Peas and Bacon by Daddy Knows Less
- Quick N Easy Thai Coconut Shrimp Stir Fry by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Whole Wheat Pizza with Hummus & Fresh Greens by Family Spice
- Speedy ‘n Spicy Shrimp Pasta by The Weekend Gourmet
- Baked Egg with Mushrooms and Bacon by Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
- Taco Bake by Daily Dish Recipes
- Fried Rice and Black Beans by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Chicken with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Bow Ties by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pasta in Tomato sauce and turkey meatballs by Basic & Delicious
- Tots Your Tots Will Love by The Hand that Rocks the Ladle
Can you believe that line up of recipes? What a fabulous list of meals we have and like I said, I can meal plan for weeks!
Recipe for Taco Bake
Back to School Meals: Taco Bake
- 1 16 ounce bag of penne noodles
- 1 pound of ground turkey or ground beef
- 1 packet envelope of taco seasoning
- 1 cup of water
- 4 ounces of light cream cheese
- 1 8 ounce bag of shredded cheese
- 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.