Lately I haven't done freezer cooking as much as I did at one point, but I still find time to make some of my favorite freezer recipes on occasion. For anyone that is not familiar with freezer cooking, there are a million ways to do it...some cook a whole months worth of meals in a day, some cook two weeks worth. And then theres me...basically, whenever I make a recipe I know freezes well, I make a double batch and freeze half. The main perk of freezer cooking, there is nothing like feeling NO motivation to cook and being able to pull a delicious home cooked meal out of your freezer and serve it up like you've slaved all day! Plus, it takes little more effort to make a double batch of something and by doing so you save yourself time on another day.
This recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine, and in fact it won grand prize in the freezer recipe contest...and oh yeah, those are deliciously crunched up Doritos on top! See recipe below...this is a kid friendly recipe too...my little man LOVES "taco noodles" lol
PS-yes, I plated my food for my blog on a paper plate. Sorry folks, thats just how I roll :)
Taco-Filled Pasta Shells:
2 lbs ground beef
1 C diced onion
2 envelopes taco seasoning
1 8oz package cream cheese
30 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1/4 C butter or margarine
Additional ingredients (for each casserole)
1 C salsa
1 C taco sauce
Shredded cheese (recipe calls for 2 cups, but use your discretion! lol)
1 1/2 C crushed tortilla chips (I use doritos)
1 C sour cream
3 green onions chopped
In a skillet, cook beef and onion until done, drain. Add taco seasoning; prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until melted. Transfer to bowl and chill in fridge for 1 hour.
Cook past according to package directions; drain. Gently toss with butter. Dump in 9x13 dish and stick in freezer for a few minutes to quick cool.
Fill each shell with approx 3 TB of meat mixture. Place 15 shells in a greased 9x9 square dish. Cover and freeze for up to three months.
To prepare the remaining shells, spoon salsa into a greased 9in square baking dish. Top with stuffed shells and taco sauce (if you don't like taco sauce omit it...we do). Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and onions.
To use frozen shells:
Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours (shells will be partially frozen still). Remove from dish. Add salsa to dish; top with shells and taco sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover; continue as above. Yields 2 casseroles (6 servings each)
Anyone else do freezer cooking? What are your fav recipes?