Taco Mac Bake

Taco Mac Bake

It seems like I’m always talking about how quick and easy my recipes are – and this Taco Mac Bake is no exception. Even though I love spending time in the kitchen, I rarely have time to spare at dinnertime and this Taco Mac Bake gets dinner on the table in a flash. Let me share a few tips that make this a busy night “go to” recipe .

This Taco Mac Bake gets dinner on the table in a flash!

Emily, FFAY
mac bake ingredients

3 things that make Taco Mac Bake EXTRA easy

  1. pre-browned and season ground beef. I always cook and season ground beef in BULK and store in batches. This one habit has saved me so much panic on a busy night.
  2. always keep your pantry stocked. Things like fresh herbs, onions, block cheese, dried pasta and canned tomatoes and beans are clutch when it comes to busy nights and hungry people.
  3. try to keep everything in ONE POT. Simplify the cooking processes into steps that use only one pot. This reduces the mess, minimizes clean-up and makes cooking a family meal more manageable and enjoyable.
ingredients and cooked pasta

Taco Mac Bake in 3-2-1

  1. To keep the minutes under control, start by par-boiling your pasta (cooking 2 minutes under al dente).
  2. While the pasta is cooking, dice, chop and shred the remaining ingredients.
  3. Save all the broken chips that are too small to dip with salsa. Instead of tossing that cup of crumbs at the bottom of the bag, just collect them into a large freezer bag. Freeze until you have enough for Taco Mac Bake!
messy served taco bake

Spicy, hearty and classically well-loved, this ‘taco inspired’ meal is sure to be well-loved by your hungry herd (even on the busiest night of the week!).

bake served on a plate

Taco Mac Bake

  • 1.5 lb ground beef, browned and seasoned*
  • 1/2 lb cooked pasta, cooked 2 minutes less than package instructions
  • 1 can black beans, undrained (15 oz)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 bottle of taco sauce (14 oz)
  • 16 oz grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 c tortilla chips
  • 1/3 c of each ::
    • chopped cilantro
    • red onions, diced
    • diced tomatoes
    • shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a large, deep (12″x3″) round baking dish/skillet {a deep 9″x13″ works too) with nonstick cooking spray.

Place first 6 ingredients in the baking dish, reserving half of the cheese for the top (both layering or combining work equally well).

For the final layer, sprinkle chips and remaining cheese. Top with cilantro and red onions. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden, cheese is melty and the Mac Bake is heated through.

Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.

Serves 12

Note – season the browned ground beef with a packet of your favorite taco seasoning.