From the author:
There is a recipe for One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni in The Mom 100 Cookbook that not only is my husband’s favorite from the book, and high on my kids’ list, but also one of the recipes that people most often email me about, declaring it a staple in their weekly repertoires. It seems only right to try to follow it up with a beefy cheesy noodle-y encore. And so, I present for your consideration a Mexican twist on this much-loved dish, and a meal that is greeted in my house with thunderous applause. Okay, not thunderous applause, but requests for seconds, which is as close to thunderous applause as I can hope to get.
One-Skillet Beefy Enchilada Noodle Casserole
- Nonstick cooking spray, for the skillet
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive, canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 to 3 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 can (28 ounces) enchilada sauce
- 1 package (1 pound) fusilli, rotini, or egg noodles
- ½ cup light or heavy (whipping) cream, or half-and-half
- 1½ cups shredded Monterey jack, cheddar cheese, or a Mexican blend
- Spray a very large, deep (13-inch; 6 quart) skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat, until it is crumbly and browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain.
- Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are softened and the spices are nice and toasty and aromatic, 5 minutes.
- Raise the heat to high, add 2 cups of the chicken broth, the tomato paste, and enchilada sauce, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the drained beef and noodles, and stir well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, until the noodles are cooked, following the package directions. Stir once halfway through the cooking time. The liquid should be pretty much absorbed, but the mixture should still be moist looking. If the noodles absorb all of the liquid before they are cooked, add up to an additional cup of chicken broth to the pan, stir, and cover until the pasta is tender.
- You can continue with Step 5 or see the Fork in the Road if you want a spicy casserole.
- Stir in the cream, and sprinkle over the cheese. Cover and cook until the cheese melts, just 1 or 2 minutes. Serve hot
Variation: You can also make this with ground turkey for a slightly lighter version.
What the Kids Can Do: Measure the spices, cream, and cheese; dump things into the pan and stir (with supervision); sprinkle on the cheese.
Fork in the Road: Nicely seasoned for those who don’t like a lot of heat, pumped-up seasoning options for those looking for some kick.
The main version has a nice level of flavor, but the Fork in the Road really gives your taste buds something to think about.
Make Ahead: You can make this casserole up to the point that the noodles are about halfway cooked, and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and warm the casserole gently over low heat until the noodles are cooked through (you may need to add a bit more broth). When it is hot, stir in the cream (and the spicy ingredients if using) and finish it off with the cheese.
by Katie Workman
From the bestselling author of The Mom 100 Cookbook (named one of the Five Best Weeknight Cookbooks of the Past 25 Years by Cooking Light) comes Dinner Solved! 100 Ingenious Recipes That Make the Whole Family Happy, Including YOU! With this cookbook, flexible recipes promise no more cranky eaters, no more dinner table strife, and no more unsure or stressed-out cook.