Southwestern Casserole

Ingredients:

1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

Directions
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture.
Transfer to two greased 2-qt. baking dishes. Top with cheese and jalapenos. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through. Serve one casserole. Cool the second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Cover and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

This is a quick and easy casserole that is great for the freezer. This Taste of Home recipe actually makes 2 casseroles so you can eat one and freeze one. I got this recipe from a cooking party I went to where we made meals to stock up the freezer. It is so tasty that it doesn’t last long, even though it makes a 9×13. We don’t often make hamburger meals, but you could definitely substitute ground turkey.

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