Friday, August 19, 2011

Mexican Manicotti

I'll admit, this post was a bit of an afterthought.  This is one of those dishes that I make when I just don't feel like putting much thought or effort into dinner.  It's delicious and everyone loves it, but it is incredibly easy.  It's so easy, that it just never occurred to me to do a post as I was actually making it.  In fact, it wasn't until I was eating the left-overs today for lunch that it hit me (so please forgive the lack of photos here).  This is exactly the kind of dish I am always hoping to find.  Moms need dishes like this in their repertoire.  And, I have this one because of my mom.  It's one of her go-to's and now it is definitely one of mine.

I typically make this with ground turkey, but it is actually much more decadent (can meat even be decadent?) with ground beef.  And, we don't use any cheese on this since, you know, I can't eat dairy at the moment, and my husband - bless his heart - doesn't like cheese (can you imagine?), but feel free to add it your dish.  I've included it below.

Mexican Manicotti:
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 can refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 box manicotti shells
1 cup water
1 large jar of salsa
8 oz. shredded cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine meat, refried beans, and taco seasoning until thoroughly mixed.  Place the meat mixture into a freezer bag and cut off a tip so the bag can be used like a pastry bag.  Squeeze the meat mixture into the manicotti shells and place the shells side by side in a 9x13 glass baking dish (you may need to occasionally nudge the meat in with a spoon or knife - and it may get a bit messy!).  Once the dish is full of shells, pour 1 cup water over the shells.  Top with the entire jar of salsa.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.  Remove from the oven, and if using, immediately top the dish with the shredded cheese.


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