I know everyone is busy year round-but this time of year seems to be especially busy. In addition to the usual everyday things, there is also shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, planning and attending get-togethers, and it’s often hard to find something to make for dinner on a weeknight. It gets dark so early and it’s cold out there-I find myself craving foods that are comforting but quick to make. That’s where dinners like this bowl of deliciousness come in.
This dinner was perfect. It came together quickly, was comforting and the Tex Mex spin makes it not your ordinary pasta dish. If you don’t have an oven safe skillet or one that’s big enough to hold everything, you can transfer everything to a casserole or baking dish before baking.
This meal was high in flavor, perfectly cheesy and one of our new favorite meals!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
2 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen corn
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded Mexican cheese blend or a combination of grated cheddar/monterey jack
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 475 degrees and adjust oven rack to middle position. In a 12-inch oven safe nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add in garlic, chili powder, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add in beef, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink.
Add in water, tomato sauce, and pasta. Stir to combine. Cover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook at vigorous simmer, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 9 to 12 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in corn, chiles, and 1 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.