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.
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.