One Skillet Mexican Spaghetti!


Have you every had a pound of ground beef or chuck and thought, do I want spaghetti or do I want tacos tonight?  Both meals are popular at our house and when I want something easy and fast, they both work!   Also, as high as food prices are getting, I think we will all be looking for more economic meals to feed a family!   This "Mexican Spaghetti" is a perfect mash up of the two!   

I love this recipe for several reasons!   It's not only tasty, economical, and quick ot make, you literally only use one skillet, so cleanup is a breeze!   Also, this is loved by all ages!  What's not to love here! 

Here is what you will need:

1 lb. ground chuck or ground beef 
1 Tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 (1 oz.) pkg taco mix
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn niblets
8 oz. uncooked spaghetti, broken in half
2 cups water
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend 
1/4 cup green onions, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)

In a large skillet, at least 4 quart, with a lid, brown the ground chuck in the olive or vegetable oil.  As it browns add in the diced onion and if using, the jalapeno.  Add the salt and pepper.  When it's all browned add the taco mix!

Stir in the can of Rotel and the tomato sauce!  

Stir in one cup of corn niblets!   You could also add a can of black beans or chili beans here in addition ot the corn or instead of the corn.  

Add the uncooked spaghetti and 2 cups of water and stir to cover the spaghetti with liquid.  Bring it up to a boil and then stir.  Cover with the lid and turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes!  This allows the spaghetti time to cook and absorb the liquid.

Sprinkle the top with cheese and cover until it melts, about 10 minutes!  If you like the cilantro, sprinkle the top before serving!  
I set out taco toppings...sliced green onions, sour cream, hot sauce, sliced olives for each person to garnish their own serving! 

This is delicious and it easily feeds 4-6 people!  The leftovers ever better the next day!  Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato, Chicken and Bacon Casserole!


This "Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole" is new to the site and it got a two thumbs up from the family!  It's one of those one dish meals we all love!  This is a meal in itself, but you could add a vegetable or salad to make it complete!  If you are cooking for meat and potatoes people, they are going to love this one!  

Here is what you will need:  

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed in bite size pieces
6 medium size to large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
3 cups shredded Monterrey Jack/Cheddar blend or shredded Cheddar cheese
10 slices of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
4-5 green onions sliced 
sour cream for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, ranch dressing mix, seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and dash of hot sauce together.   Add the diced potatoes and with a large, slotted spoon toss them to coat with the oil mixture. 

 Remove with the slotted spoon, so that the excess oil mixture stays in the bowl to a 9"x13" baking dish or 3 quart casserole.

Put the cubed chicken in a the remain oil mixture and toss to coat.  Pour the chicken and remaining oil over the potatoes.  Evenly placing the chicken over the top in a single layer so it browns.  I like to keep the potatoes and chicken separated in two layers at the beginning to be sure the chicken cook evenly.   Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 1 hour.  About halfway through toss everything to be sure it is all evenly browning the the potatoes aren't sticking.

Remove when it's all browned and the chicken is done and top with 3 cups of shredded cheese of whatever you chose to use and sprinkle with the crumbled bacon.  Place back in the oven for about 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted!

When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle with the green onions!

Serve as is or...

With a little sour cream on top!  Either way this was fantastic!  We will definitely be having it again and it makes a pretty large casserole!  

Chicken Fajita Pasta Skillet!


I love fajitas!  Anytime we eat out and they are on the menu, that is usually what I order.  I also love pasta so I decided to combine the two in a one skillet meal and the results were delicious!  I would say this is a definite winner!   This is a great way to use leftover chicken and pasta when cook more than you need or cook extra knowing you will make this in the next day or so!  That's what I do a lot!

This recipe can be adjusted to the level of heat you like.  I like spicy myself, but when cooking for other people I tone it down some!   

Here is what you will need:

2 Tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 cups diced chicken breast (you can use leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 (1 oz.) pkg. fajita seasoning mix (I used Old El Paso)
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes
dash of hot sauce to taste (I used Tabasco)
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked al dente
3 cups half and half cream or whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups Monterrey Jack/Cheddar blend cheese, shredded and divided

Garnishes  (all optional)
jalapeno slices
fresh cilantro
Mexican Crema
Roasted Poblana Salsa Cremosa
pico de gallo

In a a large skillet with a lid, melt the butter in the oil over medium heat.    Add the onion, green and red bell peppers and jalapeno and saute until the begin to soften.   Add the diced, cooked chicken. 

 Sprinkle with the seasonings and the package of fajita mix.  Add the can of Rotel, undrained and the dash of hot sauce which is optional.   Add the cooked pasta and toss together!  

Add the half and half and sour cream and toss together! 

Add in half of the shredded cheese and mix!   Turn the heat to medium low.  Cover with the lid and allow to just simmer on low for about 10 - 15 minutes.  Stir halfway through or it can stick.  This allows the cream to come up to temperature and warm and the cheese to melt. 

Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese and cover with the lid.  Cook on low heat for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese has melted!

When the cheese is nice and melted, it's ready to serve!  Garnish the top with jalapeno slices, some fresh cilantro, or sprinkle with a little chili powder like it did here!

I like to drizzle the top of my serving with Mexican Crema or some Roasted Poblana Salsa Cremosa, which is sort of spicy!   If you don't have Mexican Crema, you can add some lime juice to sour cream to thin it out and use that!  

 This is one of the best pasta dishes I have made recently!  It's so tasty!
I't's also quick and easy and the leftovers are just as good as the first time you served it! 
Hope you enjoy!!! 



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