Sunday, January 30, 2011

Taco Rice Casserole

I made up this recipe a few years ago, and it's one my whole family enjoys. Tonight, for example, I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner. I looked in my pantry & fridge, and saw that I had all these ingredients. So, voila! It's a pretty easy dinner to put together. This was on my old blog, too, if it looks familiar to you. :)

Taco Rice Casserole
Printable version here

3/4 cup rice (regular, not instant)*
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. taco seasoning (and/or southwest seasoning)
1 lg. can tomato sauce (15-16 oz.)
1/2 lb. ground beef (or cooked, cubed chicken)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
French fried onions (crushed)

1. Cook rice & 1 1/2 cups water in 3 quart saucepan, according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, cook ground beef (if using). In a large bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, sour cream, and seasoning. Stir in meat, half the cheese, and rice.

3. Pour into an 8x8 (or 11x7) pan. Top with remaining cheese, and sprinkle with french fried onions. Bake at 375ยบ for 15 minutes or until hot. Serves 3-4.

My notes- for the seasoning, my favorite is to use 1 T. of taco seasoning, and 1 T. of Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning. I also don't measure the sour cream, cheese, and onions. I've made it enough times now that I just eyeball it. Also, if you make it beforehand and are baking it cold, add to the baking time. 15 minutes is about right if it's already warm (like the rice & the meat ). Last thing- if you think you'll have leftovers, I wouldn't put the french fried onions on that part. They get soggy if put in the fridge & reheated.

*Alternate to the white rice- here are my directions for making brown rice. That is delicious in this, too!

Why I love it? Like I said, it uses common ingredients that I normally have on-hand. It's good with either chicken or ground beef, which makes it a little more versatile. It's quick & inexpensive. Dave said he likes it "because it's always good," Daniel said "because of the rice", and I just like it because it's yummy & easy.

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