Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells (Freezer Friendly)

Taco stuffed pasta shells are a great twist on classic stuffed shells Jumbo pasta shells are filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese. 

All you need to add to this delicious taco inspired casserole is a simple tossed salad, or some roasted broccoli!

A serving of taco stuffed shells on a plate garnished with parsley.

What Pasta To Use

Jumbo shells are sold with the pasta and are available in most supermarkets (or online at Amazon).  They often come in a box (to keep them from breaking) next to the lasagna. They are called conchiglie, because they resemble conch shells.

If you can’t find them, try substituting for the smaller shells and creating a casserole (layered like I do with my baked ziti), rather than stuffed shells.

How To Make Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

To make these stuffed pasta shells:

  1. Cook the pasta shells to al dente (they’ll cook a bit more in the oven).
  2. Brown the ground beef and onions and drain fat.

Two images showing taco stuffed shells filling in a pan then mixed and combined with cream cheese.

  1. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning, water, and veggies (per the recipe below). Cook until all of the water is evaporated.
  2. Fill each pasta shell with a few tablespoons of the beef mixture. Add them to a casserole dish.

Two images showing jumbo pasta shells being filled with the taco mixture and then lined up in a casserole dish.

  1. Top with salsa. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Then, add cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

You bet, these are even freezable! You can prepare these up until step 5, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours or freeze them (more on that below).

Two images showing taco filled pasta shells on a casserole dish topped with sauce and then with shredded cheese.

To Make This a Freezer Meal

This meal can be made ahead of time and frozen.  Prepare as directed but don’t add the cheese on top and don’t bake it. Ensure the filling is cooled and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap in foil.

To Cook: Remove it from the freezer the night before and refrigerate overnight.  By dinner time the next day it’s ready to top with cheese and bake.

Storing and Reheating The Leftovers

Have leftovers? No worries! They will last about 3 days in the fridge, covered.

These reheat pretty well. To reheat this stuffed taco casserole, microwave for a couple minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.

More Tasty Taco Takes

We love traditional ground beef tacos and often cook the meat up in batches for meals. Add taco meat to your regular ground beef dishes to spice them up like taco lasagna or taco casserole.

Leftover meat is also great on Taco Salad or in a taco soup recipe!

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells. Jumbo pasta shells filled with a creamy seasoned beef & vegetable mixture and topped with cheese.  This is the perfect weeknight meal and fun twist on Taco night!

Filling

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 14.5 oz can of ((low sodium) diced tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped veggies ((red, yellow or green peppers, corn, zucchini… whatever you have on hand))
  • 1 package ((8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed)

Other

  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Cups Salsa
  • 2 Cups grated cheddar and/or monterey jack cheese
  • Sour cream for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook pasta shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Brown ground beef and onion in a large pan until no pink remains.

  4. Add in undrained tomatoes, taco seasoning, 3/4 cup of water and veggies. Cook 5 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream cheese until melted.

  5. Fill each pasta shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Place into a casserole dish.

  6. Top with salsa. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

To Make Ahead: Prepare up to step 5. Refrigerate or freeze overnight.

To Cook Frozen Shells: Defrost in the fridge overnight and proceed with baking as directed.

 

 

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate.
Top Photo - Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells served on a white plate. Bottom photo - Pasta shells in a casserole dish.

Frito Pie Casserole (Frito Taco Pie)

Frito Pie is a crowd pleasing favorite, great for game day and a family meal everyone will agree on! A simple base (similar to a chili recipe) with ground beef, seasonings and beans is topped with heaps of cheese and… you guessed it.. FRITOS!!

Add your favorite taco toppings like tomatoes, sour cream and jalapenos!

A scoop of frito pie being removed from the casserole dish.

What is Frito Pie?

Frito pie is not really a pie, it’s a kind of a taco casserole (like Dorito casserole)!

Also known as frito taco pie, this easy dish can be made at home with a few simple ingredients; beef, beans, tomatoes, corn, an ample supply of cheese, and of course, Fritos!

For a super fun grab-and-go treat, use fritos from single serving bags and after the casserole is finished, scoop a serving back into the bag and hand off to a hungry eater! No mess and no dishes!

Frito pie meat mixture being cooked in a frying pan.

How to Make Frito Pie

  1. Brown beef and add taco seasoning, tomato sauce and corn & beans.
  2. Add a layer of fritos to a casserole dish and sprinkle cheese.
  3. Top with the meat mixture and more cheese.
  4. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve and enjoy… and don’t forget the toppings!

Two images showing how to layer the frito pie in the casserole dish.

My Favorite Frito Pie Toppings

So many great things can go on top of this frito pie casserole! I like to have small bowls of toppings for everyone to pick their own! Here are some suggestions:

  • Sauces: salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole
  • Veggies etc: Sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, green chiles, lime wedges
  • Extra Crunch: Tortillas for wrapping

A serving of frito pie in a bowl. Garnished with chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, and parsley.

More Chili Inspired Favorites

Frito Pie

A Mexican casserole with ground beef, tomatoes, corn, taco seasoning & salsa, layered with Frito chips and shredded cheese.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 package taco seasoning (& water as indicated on package)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 10 ounces diced tomatoes (with chilies or salsa)
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 cup corn (drained)
  • 1 bag Fritos® corn chips (about 5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups mexican cheese blend (shredded, 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)
  • sour cream (for serving (optional))
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. Brown ground beef and onions, drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning and water.

  3. Simmer uncovered 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn & beans. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Place 4 cups of the Frito chips in single layer in baking dish. Top with 1 cup of the shredded cheese; spoon beef mixture over cheese, then top with remaining cheese.

  5. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or util cheese is melted and edges are bubbly. Top with remaining Frito chips and green onion. Serve with sour cream.

A scoop of frito pie being removed from the casserole dish.
A scoop of frito pie being removed from the casserole dish.
Top photo - A serving of frito pie in a white bowl. Garnished with diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and parlsey. Bottom photo - Frito pie meat mixture being cooked in a frying pan.

Stuffed Pepper Casserole (One Pot Meal)

A Stuffed Pepper Casserole is an easy, one pot casserole that could be called ‘unstuffed pepper casserole’. This recipe is incorporates the ingredients from classic stuffed peppers like rice, ground beef and tomato sauce all in one skillet for a great weeknight meal.

Like a hearty stuffed pepper soup, this recipe is an easy family favorite!

Stuffed pepper casserole being scooped out of the casserole dish.

How to Make Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This colorful entree is made with an combination of red, yellow, and green bell peppers and is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic and drain the fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil (see recipe below).
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender.

Once the casserole is finished, top with cheese, replace the lid and let the cheese melt. Serve!

Overview of stuffed pepper ingredients in the casserole dish. Variations for This Casserole

  • Low Carb: Swap out the rice for cauliflower rice to create a low-carb entrée.
  • Meat: Swap out the ground beef for ground chicken, turkey or even ground sausage.
  • Seasonings: This recipe uses Italian seasoning but you can swap it out for your favorites or even skip it and add some taco seasoning.
  • Peppers: Use any combination of colors in this recipe.
  • Veggies: Add your favorite veggies to this recipe including diced zucchini and chopped mushrooms.

What to Serve With Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This amazing dish is perfect just the way it is, with the protein, veggies, and starch all in one dish!  Serve this with dinner rolls or garlic bread!

Add in a cup or two of tossed greens and with a light vinaigrette or a caesar salad.

Two images of stuffed pepper casserole before and after being topped with cheese.

To Freeze

Like most casserole recipes, this one is freezer friendly!

  • To freeze, make sure it is fully cooled before you put it in zippered bags or an airtight container. Be sure to date your container.
  • To thaw, place in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for about two hours.
  • To reheat, place in the microwave or on the stove top and refresh the flavors with a couple new dashes of salt and pepper! Enjoy!

Easy & Filling Casserole Dishes

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

This easy, one pot casserole is made on the stove top in one skillet or even in a slow cooker if your day is super busy!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2-2 1/4 cups bell pepper (red, green and/or yellow, diced)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 14.5 oz tomatoes (diced, undrained)
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup basmati rice (uncooked)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  1. Brown beef with onion and garlic until no pink remains. Drain excess fat.

  2. Add peppers, seasonings, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, rice and salt & pepper to taste.

  3. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender. (Add more beef broth if needed).

  4. Once rice is tender, top with cheese and cover with a lid until melted. Optionally, broil 2-3 minutes.

A serving of stuffed pepper casserole in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.
A serving of stuffed pepper casserole in a white bowl, garnished with parsley.
Top photo - A serving of stuffed pepper casserole in a white bowl, garnished with parsley. Bottom photo - Overview of stuffed pepper ingredients in the casserole dish.

Beef Taco Casserole

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

Beef Taco Casserole is a fun twist on taco night, and is a great way to feed a crowd or hungry family! A mixture of seasoned ground beef and black beans is mixed with salsa and cheese, then baked until hot and bubbly for the perfect taco inspired meal.

Add your fave toppings; shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, jalapeño slices and more! My favorite topping is some crunchy Fritos corn chips… it gives this taco meat casserole a “walking taco” feel, which my kids just love!

Taco casserole in white baking dish

What is a Taco Casserole?

It’s everything you love about tacos, but in a super-comforting casserole form, an easy taco bake.

I just love taco casserole recipes with ground beef, so my version uses ground beef, and that 1 pound of meat is stretched further by using black beans as well.  Normally I use a package of taco seasoning, but homemade taco seasoning really takes this to a new fabulous level!

Swap it Up

This recipe can be changed based on what you have on hand. Any ground meat will work (like chicken or turkey). Add in some diced veggies or peppers or swap out the salsa for enchilada sauce. Pretty much anything goes!

Taco casserole with taco toppings and Fritos on top

How to Make Taco Casserole

It seems like every region here in the U.S. has a type of food that it’s known for.  Here in the Midwest, I think if there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s a comforting casserole.  Of course, other places in the country serve up casseroles too, but Midwesterners will turn anything and everything into a casserole!

This dish needs just a few easy steps:

  1. Brown beef and drain fat. Stir in beans and sauce mixture.
  2. Pour into a casserole dish, top with cheese.
  3. Bake until bubbly and melted.

It’s that easy! Next top with your favorite toppings and serve!

To Make it Healthier

With a few substitutions, you can easily turn this into a healthy taco casserole!

  • Swap regular ground beef for extra lean ground beef, or even ground turkey will lighten up this taco casserole.
  • Use reduced-fat shredded cheese.
  • Use reduced-sodium ingredients.
  • Add diced or shredded veggies to the meat as it cooks.
  • Top the casserole with fresh veggies (lettuce/tomatoes) for serving and swap out the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt!

Scoop of beef taco casserole in baking dish

Can You Freeze Taco Casserole?

Yes!  This bean and beef taco casserole freezes beautifully, which makes it great for meal prepping, or even making a meal for a sick friend.

To thaw, just set the casserole in your refrigerator overnight, and by dinner time the next day, it should be fully thawed. Full freezing instructions are below the recipe at the end of the post!

Beef taco casserole on white plate with Fritos

To Freeze Taco Casserole

TO FREEZE Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. If the casserole is still very cold from the fridge, you may need to add few additional minutes to the bake time.

More Mexican Inspired Casseroles

Beef Taco Casserole

This beef and bean taco casserole is incredibly easy, made from scratch, freezer-friendly, and a huge hit with families!

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles (drained)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 ounce jar of picante sauce or salsa
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese (divided)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 or 3 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until browned and mostly cooked, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add onion and jalapeno to beef. Cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Beef should be fully cooked and brown at this point.
  4. Drain any fat and return to skillet. Stir in taco seasoning, black beans, green chiles, salt, pepper, tomato paste and picante sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes.

  5. Set skillet aside and add 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Transfer beef mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

  7. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.
  8. Top with desired toppings and serve!

TO FREEZE Cook beef mixture in skillet and assemble in baking dish, omitting 1 cup remaining cheese on top. Cool completely and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in refrigerator until casserole is completely thawed. Remove plastic wrap and aluminum foil, set out on the counter for about 20 minutes, top with 1 cup of cheese, then bake at 350 F degrees for about 45-55 minutes, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Topping Options: Salsa, Shredded iceburg lettuce, Sliced black olives, Chopped tomatoes, Sliced jalapenos, Minced fresh cilantro, Lime wedges, Frito corn chips, Cheddar Cheese, Sour Cream, Refried Beans.

Repin this Delicious Casserole

Cheeseburger Meatballs (Easy Appetizer)

Cheeseburger stuffed meatballs are the ultimate tailgating snack! Juicy beef meatballs are stuffed with cheese and baked crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Serve them with lettuce, tomato, and pickles and of course a great selection of dips for rave reviews! 

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but all opinions are my own.

Cheeseburger anything is a family favorite around here. From Cheeseburger Macaroni to bacon cheeseburger soup, we always find a way to enjoy the classic cheesy, beefy, savory goodness of burgers!

Close up of cheeseburger stuffed meatballs topped with pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes on a cutting board.

Tailgating season is always busy, and full of delicious food.

Time Saving Tip: Walmart.com has NextDay Delivery meaning just hop online, order your groceries and they show up on your doorstep the very next day! It’s a huge time saver! Don’t forget the Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise for this stuffed cheeseburger recipe. Talk about easy!

Two images - a box from walmart.com on the doorstep, and the box opened filled with Hellmans products.

Tailgating Favorite

Homemade meatballs are a go-to for appetizers and these juicy cheese stuffed meatballs are a favorite for everyone! With all the flavor of your favorite hamburger in a bite sized snack, take them to the next level with the perfect dipping sauces like Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce or Burger Sauce.

The real secret to keeping the cheese inside the meatballs is, of course, to make sure the cheese is sealed inside. The smoother the meat mixture, the better it seals the cheese for ultimate gooey goodness.

Tips for Juicy Stuffed Meatballs

  • Adding Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise to the meat mixture adds flavor and moisture while making the meat mixture smooth (keeping all of the cheese inside)
  • Grate the onions to get lots of flavor while still keeping the mixture smooth
  • Don’t overmix the meat mixture, gently combine so you don’t get tough meatballs
  • Bake on a rack (or grill) to allow fat to drip away

To images showing the ingredients for cheeseburger stuffed meatballs in a bowl, and how to stuff the meatballs.

To Make Ahead

The convenience of ordering groceries with NextDay Delivery at Walmart.com means I can get everything done well ahead of time including prepping the meatballs for tailgating!

To make meatballs ahead of time:

  • Combine meatball mixture per recipe
  • Fill with cheese and roll into balls
  • Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months.

To cook from frozen, simply place the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Once defrosted, and bake as directed.

Ingredients for a dill dip for cheeseburger stuffed meatballs.

Tailgating Tips

  • Bake as directed and keep warm in a slow cooker on low for serving
  • Meatballs can be cooked on a grill over medium low heat until they reach 165°F.
  • Serve these meatballs with Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce and Hellmann’s Burger Sauce
  • Add fun toppings with skewers or put out a topping bar allowing guests to choose their own toppings.

Cheeseburger stuffed meatballs on a skewer with pickles, lettuce and tomatoes.

To Make Dip

No good appetizer is complete without the perfect dips!

For convenient serving, be sure to add Hellmann’s Burger Sauce and Hellmann’s Spicy Dipping Sauce to your Walmart Next Day delivery order. If you’d like to create your own dip, you need just a couple of ingredients

  • Mix 2 parts Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise with 1 part sour cream.
  • Add your favorite seasonings, spices and add ins for a great dip
    • Ideas: spices, sriracha, cheeses, onions, hot sauce, bacon bits, pickles etc.

More Tailgating Goodness

Cheeseburger Stuffed Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion (*see note)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Hellmann's ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 6 cheddar cheese sticks (cut into 4 pieces each)

Other

  • pickles (tomatoes, lettuce for topping)
  • Hellmann's Spicy Dipping Sauce & Hellmann's Burger Sauce (for dipping)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients except cheese. Divide into 24 even pieces.
  3. Wrap each meatball around a piece of cheese. Roll into a ball ensuring all of the cheese is completely covered mixture. Place on a parchment lined pan and bake 25 minutes.

  4. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with sliced pickles, lettuce and tomatoes and dipping sauces.

Grating the onion with a cheese grater adds flavor while keeping the meatballs smooth so the cheese doesn’t leak out.

Dill Pickle Dip:

Combine 1/4 cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon chopped pickles, 1/4 teaspoon each dill and garlic powder. Add pickle juice to reach desired consistency.

Easy Ground Beef Burrito

Easy Beef Burritos are perfect for those nights when you need to get dinner on the table fast. These can be enjoyed right when they’re made or individually frozen for quick and easy meals.

Serve with corn chips and salsa & guacamole, or a simple black bean and corn salad for a nourishing and satisfying meal.

Close up of a ground beef burrito on a plate, topped with sour cream, diced tomatoes, and cilantro.

To Make Burritos

From shopping to prep, to presentation, you’ll love how quick ground beef burritos come together.

Ingredients:

Burritos are so versatile that you can alter the ingredients however you please.

  • Meat: I use ground beef in this recipe but of course you can use ground chicken or turkey or any other kind of ground meat. Ground beef and black bean burritos are equally delicious.
  • Cheese: Cheeses offer lots of options too. Shredded cheddar or any Mexican cheeses, such as crumbly Cotija or creamy Oaxaca would all be easy alternatives.
  • Tortilla: Flour tortillas will be the easiest to fold but corn tortillas (more on how to fold a burrito here)!

Ground Beef Burrito ingredients.

How to Make a Ground Beef Burrito:

  1. Brown ground beef & onions then stir in the taco seasoning.
  2. Warm the refried beans and tortillas.
  3. In the center of each burrito wrap, place a couple of tablespoons of beans and seasoned meat and sprinkle with cheese. Wrap and enjoy.

Burritos can be messy to eat if they aren’t rolled up tightly, so learn how to fold a burrito like a pro to ensure all those yummy filling go into mouths and not onto laps!

Ground beef burrito fillings on a flour tortillas

How to Wrap the Perfect Burrito

Start by warming the burritos. This will make them a little stretchy and easy to handle.

  • Place all the fillings in the center. Don’t overload.
  • Fold the burrito. Using your fingertips, fold in one side, then the top and bottom snugly keeping the fillings in the center. Fillings should not squeeze out of the ends.
  • Enclose by rolling the final side.

Now you can enjoy a ground beef burrito relatively mess-free!

Ground beef burrito on a plate, topped with sour cream, cilantro and diced tomatoes.

To Freeze Burritos

If you’re looking for optimal freezer foods for make-ahead convenience, you can’t do any better than burritos. They easily go from freezer to microwave or oven anytime you need a quick lunch, dinner or snack.

  • To freeze, cool them completely. Then wrap individually in aluminum foil and pack into freezer bags.
  • Defrost overnight: Remove from the freezer and place in the fridge overnight.
  • To Reheat: Burritos can be heated in the microwave 2-3 minutes or baked at 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Burritos will keep for up to four months in the freezer, and can also be refrigerated for up to four days.

More Tex-Mex Meals

Ground Beef Burrito

Easy, tasty & filling weeknight meal!

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 small yellow onion (finely minced)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (minced)
  • 6 12" flour tortillas (warmed)
  • 16 ounces refried beans (warmed)
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese (shredded)
  1. In a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat add ground beef and yellow onion.
  2. Cook the meat until it’s no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain any fat.
  3. Add in the taco seasoning and prepare according to the packet directions.
  4. When the meat is fully cooked stir in the cilantro and remove from the heat.
  5. Lay out the flour tortillas and spread a layer of refried beans into the middle of each tortilla.
  6. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of the meat mixture and shredded cheese.
  7. Roll up each tortilla burrito-style and enjoy warm.
  8. Optional: Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add burrito seam side down and cook 2-3 minutes or until slightly browned. Flip over and repeat with the other side.

I kept this recipe simple but if desired add sour cream, tomatoes, jalapenos or other favorites into the tortilla before rolling.

Keep in mind raw vegetables don’t freeze well.

Close up of a ground beef burrito on a plate.
Close up of a ground beef burrito on a plate.
Top image - close up of a ground beef burrito on a plate. Bottom image - burrito ingredients laid out in bowls.

Delicious Hot Dog Chili Sauce

Hot Dog Chili is the perfect way to make top dogs! A zesty beanless chili in about 15 minutes, this recipe has ground beef, tomato sauce, and seasonings for the perfect topper!

It is a one-size-fits-all condiment for hot dogs, brats, and even hamburgers. You could even try it on omelets and grilled cheese sandwiches!

Close up of hot dogs with chili sauce, topped with chopped pickles and shredded cheese.

What is Hot Dog Chili Sauce?

This Southern sauce is a staple at diners, drive-in’s and homes from Louisiana to Texas and once you try it, you’ll want to keep a stash of it in your fridge for everything!

It’s the all-purpose condiment that replaces ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions! A total one-step and you’re done condiment that is fresh, tangy, and totally versatile!

Unlike a traditional ground beef chili recipe, this one skips the beans. Fresh beef, tomato sauce, and some seasonings, and you’ve got a tasty sauce that you can customize. Make it spicy or sweet as you please!

Two images showing the chili dog sauce before and after being mixed together in the saucepan.

To Make Hot Dog Chili

This Hot Dog Chili Sauce is so delicious and so easy to make. With just two steps you can have this simmering away in no time!

  1. Cook ground beef and onions (per recipe below).
  2. Mix all ingredients together and simmer until it reaches your preferred thickness.

Spoon over hot dogs and serve with a side of french fries for a ‘ballpark’ meal everyone will love!

Overview of hot dog chili sauce in a saucepan.

Other Delicious Chili Dog Toppings

Hot dogs are the perfect grab-and-go vehicle for whatever you want! Here is a list of my favorites!

  • Veggies: diced or fried onions, sundried tomatoes, jalapenos, or pepperoncini.
  • Cheese: shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or spicy habanero!
  • Sauces: pickle relish, sour cream, salsa, or hot sauce.
  • Other: black olives, black beans, or bacon bits.

Hot dogs with chili dog sauce, topped with chopped pickles and shredded cheese.

How Long Will It Last?

Hot dog chili sauce won’t last long when you see all the great things it can be used for! Till then, store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or Tupperware in the fridge.

It will keep about 3-4 days but if you have extras you can and freeze it for a few months!

More Chili Favorites

Hot Dog Chili

Adjust the seasonings to reach your desired spice level.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 medium sweet onion (diced)
  • 1 can tomato sauce ((8 ounce))
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup beef stock or broth
  1. In a 12-inch skillet brown ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes or until the stock has cooked down and the chili sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Spoon over cooked hot dogs and enjoy!

Close up of a hot dog with chili sauce, topped with pickles and cheese.
Close up of hot dogs with chili sauce, topped with chopped pickles and shredded cheese.
Top image - close up of hot dogs with chili sauce, topped with pickles & cheese. Bottom image - hot dog chili sauce in a saucepan.

Cheeseburger Pizza – two favorites combined!

Cheeseburger Pizza,  it’s two of the world’s favorite comfort foods combined for a perfect weeknight meal!  A delicious crust loaded with lean beef, bacon and of course tons of yummy cheese! Top it with all of your favorite cheeseburger toppings for a family favorite meal!

Somehow I am always finding ways to incorporate that yummy cheeseburger flavor into other dishes like Bacon Cheeseburger Pie and of course our favorite Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs!

A close up of a slice of cheeseburger pizza.

The Best Toppings

Once the pizza dough is baked, cover it in whatever toppings you like best on either cheeseburgers or pizza. Really anything can be added or substituted in this recipe.

  • Sauces: pizza sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, ketchup, or mayo
  • Meat: ground beef, bacon
  • Veggies: green or red bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, or lettuce
  • Herbs: Chili pepper or flakes, dried oregano, basil, or garlic
  • Others: Pickled habaneros, black olives, sweet sandwich pickles

A cheeseburger pizza sliced on a cutting board.

To Make Cheeseburger Pizza

Now that you have your tasty toppings picked out let’s turn these simple ingredients into a tasty, crowd-pleasing dinner!

  1. Pre-bake the pizza dough and brown the ground beef with onion, garlic, and barbecue sauce (per recipe below).
  2. Top the dough with pizza sauce, ground beef mixture, and cheeses.
  3. Sprinkle with cooked bacon bits and drizzle with barbecue sauce and bake in a hot oven until cheeses are bubbling.

Allow it to rest for several minutes before cutting and serving. If your crowd has a large appetite, portion it out into servings of double cheeseburger pizza to play up the burger angle.

Top with your favorite hamburger toppings; a slice of tomato, onion, shredded iceberg lettuce, a drizzle of ketchup.

Close up of a slice of cheeseburger pizza.

Other Delicious Sides

Cheeseburger pizza is perfect for casual entertaining or busy weeknights. You don’t need too many side dishes to complete the presentation. Think fresh, crunchy veggies to cut through the cheesy, meaty richness. Broccoli slaw, cucumber salad or arugula salad with berries will provide the welcome contrast you might be craving after a few bites of cheeseburger pizza.

If it’s a special occasion, delight your guests with a fancy beverage such as white sangria, or strawberry lemonade. Or, keep your presentation and preparation fresh and unfussy by offering a simple pitcher of lemon water.

How to Reheat It

Leftover cheeseburger pizza can be refrigerated for up to four days.

  • In the oven: Wrap in foil to prevent the crust from burning and pop in a pre-heated 350°F oven for about minutes.
  • In the microwave: The crust will be soggy, but the taste will still be sensational! If you want to crisp up the crust, then place it on a rack over a cookie sheet for about 5 minutes after reheating.

More Fun Pizza Recipes

Cheeseburger Pizza

Top it with all of your favorite cheeseburger toppings for a family favorite meal!

  • 1 roll refrigerated pizza dough ((or homemade dough for one 12" pizza))
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (sliced)
  • 4 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • mustard and pickles for garnish ((optional))
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Unroll dough onto a parchment-lined pan and bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

  2. Meanwhile, brown beef, onion, and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat. Add in 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce and cook until thickened (about 3 minutes).

  3. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Top with ground beef mixture and mozzarella cheese.

  4. Add red onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Drizzle with remaining barbecue sauce.

  5. Turn the oven up to 450°F. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

  6. Cut into 8 slices and garnish with your favorite burger toppings (mustard, pickles, ketchup).

Close up of a slice of cheeseburger pizza
Close up of a slice of cheeseburger pizza.
Top image - cheeseburger pizza sliced on a cutting board, bottom image - close up of a slice of cheeseburger pizza.

Chili Mac Skillet (One Pan Meal)

Supper never fails to satisfy when you serve this Chili Mac Skillet. This cheesy, meaty meal combines ground beef, macaroni, and cheddar cheese in a thick tomato sauce enriched with beef broth.

Make this your go-to recipe when you need to stretch your food budget and still put a smile on everyone’s face! Serve this hearty meal with a light tomato cucumber salad and a slice of garlic bread to soak up every last drop!

Chli Mac in a skillet topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese

What is Chili Mac?

Chili Mac is a fresh take on an American Goulash recipe, with a flavorful Tex-Mex flair, thanks to the addition of chili powder and herbs. Make it on the stovetop in a pot for an easy meal that’s a breeze to prep!

Ingredients for Chili Mac

Not only is the shopping, prepping and cooking for this homemade one pot meal super easy, but cleanup is a breeze too. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  •  Base: ground beef, beef broth, elbow macaroni
  • Toppings: cheddar cheese
  • Veggies: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic cloves
  • Sugar & Spice: parsley, basil, oregano, chili powder, beef bouillon cube, sugar

Substitutions

If you prefer, substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef and use chicken broth and bouillon. Penne pasta, rotini or shells will also serve in place of the macaroni. Add canned black beans, bell peppers or corn to stretch this recipe even more.

For maximum flavor and bite, use extra sharp cheddar. Pepper jack or Colby also work well in this recipe. Consider giving chili mac more of a Mexican vibe by getting creative with cumin powder, jalapenos, or chopped cilantro.

Ingredients to make Chili Mac in a large skillet

To Make this One Pan Skillet Meal

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have dinner on the table in a flash:

  1. Brown the ground beef with onion and garlic and drain off any fat.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the same pan (per recipe below) expect the cheese.
  3. Cover and cook until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

Once cooked, adjust seasoning, top with shredded cheddar, a sprinkle of green onion or cilantro and serve.

An overhead image of chili mac ready to serve

Don’t Forget the Sides!

The beauty of one pot meals like this is that you don’t have to fuss too much with sides. Serve chili mac with tortilla chips or tangy panzanella salad for a welcome crunch.

Baked corn on the cob or tomato avocado salad are also tasty and light sides that will complement the stick-to-your-ribs heartiness of chili mac.

How to Reheat It

This is a terrific meal to make in advance to allow the flavors to deepen and develop. Chili mac will keep in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months.

To reheat, thaw and then pop into the microwave until steaming hot. Or you can take it straight from the freezer to the oven and bake until bubbling hot throughout.

Macaroni Madness

Chili Mac Skillet

Creamy tex-mex infused pasta skillet!

  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 pound dry macaroni noodles
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, basil and oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  1. Finely dice the onion (or grate with a cheese grater). Add onion, beef and garlic to a pan over medium heat. Cook until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

  2. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover.

  3. Stirring occasionally, let cook 13-17 minutes or until macaroni is cooked through (add a little bit of water if needed).

  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve warm topped with cheese.

 

Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley.
Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley.
Top photo - Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl and garnished with shredded cheddar and fresh parsley. Bottom photo - Chili Mac cooked and ready in the skillet.

Meatloaf Muffins (Quick Cooking)

Mini Meatloaf Muffins are a fun and fabulous twist on our favorite meatloaf recipe. They are the perfect for a weeknight dinner because they cook quickly and they’re great to pop into your lunch box.

Topped with an amazing sweet n’ zesty glaze, the meatloaf muffin recipe here is a cinch to make and perfect alongside your fave Mashed Potatoes recipe.

Plate full of meatloaf muffins.

Glaze for Meatloaf

I prefer a tomato based topping, a little sweet and a lot zesty. This recipe uses a bit of chili sauce which is not spicy. If you’ve never had it, it’s amazing… similar to a very zesty ketchup. It’s honestly my favorite part of meatloaf!

Favorite Meatloaf Toppings:

  • Zesty Topping: 1/3 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup chili sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Brown Sugar Topping: 1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • BBQ Topping: combine equal parts bbq sauce and ketchup

Meatloaf muffin ingredients in a bowl.

How to Cook Meatloaf in Muffin Tins?

Cooking meatloaf in muffin tins is super simple. Substitute ground beef for ground turkey or chicken, and prepare the same way!

  1. Glaze: Prepare the glaze by whisking together ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar and set aside.
  2. Prep: Dice the veggies and combine all ingredients well, with ½ the glaze mixture, reserving the other half for topping.
  3. Bake: Divide the mixture among the muffin wells, top with glaze, and bake!

Remove when done and allow to rest for several minutes before serving.

Two images showing meatloaf mixture being pressed into muffin tins and then topped with glaze.

How Long To Cook Mini Meatloaf

Another reason to love muffin tin meatloaf is that it cooks a lot faster than conventional meatloaf. It should take about 22 – 26 minutes in a preheated 425°F oven.

It’s a good idea to use a meat thermometer when cooking ground meat or poultry. Meatloaf muffins are done when the centers register 160°F for ground beef or 165°F for ground poultry.

Close up of meatloaf muffins on a plate with a bite out of one, garnished with parsley.

Can I Freeze Meatloaf Muffins?

This mini meatloaf recipe is practically tailor-made for the freezer, either as a make-ahead meal or for leftovers.

  • Freezing Cooked: After cooling, pack your cooked muffin tin meatloaf in freezer bags and remove as few or as many as you need anytime you want a convenient meal or snack.
  • Freezing Raw: You can also freeze muffin pan meatloaf raw for cooking later. Place the pan filled with the meatloaf in the freezer to harden. When hardened, transfer into freezer bags or containers.
  • Defrosting: For best results, defrost before reheating either in the refrigerator or by putting it in a sealed freezer bag in a cold water bath, changing the water every ½ hour until thawed through. Then, just pop them back into the muffin tins, cover with foil and reheat at 350°F for 20 minutes.

The best part about this easy freezer meals  – they’ll keep for up to three months! So make lots and save some for a busy day.

More Delicious Meatloaf Recipes

Meatloaf Muffins

These easy meatloaf muffins are the perfect snack or quick dinner idea. Especially when making these ahead and freezing!

  • 1/2 onion (finely diced)
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 green pepper (finely diced)
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a muffin pan and set aside.
  2. Combine glaze ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Cook onion over medium heat in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender (this step is optional but produces a milder onion flavor). Cool completely.

  4. Combine all ingredients plus 1/4 cup of the glaze mixture. Mix until well combined.
  5. Divide mixture over 10 muffin wells. Top each meatloaf with 1 tablespoon glaze mixture.
  6. Bake 22-26 minutes or until cooked through and beef is 160°F. Rest 5 minutes before serving.

Mini meatloaf muffins are a quick and easy alternative to a classic meatloaf! Using muffin tins, ground beef, chicken or turkey and a brown sugar glaze you can create the best make-ahead meal! Perfect as a snack, lunch or quick dinner with mashed potatoes, this recipe is always a hit with the family. And baking in half the time of a normal meatloaf, it will be a hit with the chef as well! #spendwithpennies #meatloafmuffins #meatloafrecipe #minimeatloaf #dinner #snack #freezermeal
Mini meatloaf muffins are a quick and easy alternative to a classic meatloaf! Using muffin tins, ground beef, chicken or turkey and a brown sugar glaze you can create the best make-ahead meal! Perfect as a snack, lunch or quick dinner with mashed potatoes, this recipe is always a hit with the family. And baking in half the time of a normal meatloaf, it will be a hit with the chef as well! #spendwithpennies #meatloafmuffins #meatloafrecipe #minimeatloaf #dinner #snack #freezermeal
Mini meatloaf muffins are a quick and easy alternative to a classic meatloaf! Using muffin tins, ground beef, chicken or turkey and a brown sugar glaze you can create the best make-ahead meal! Perfect as a snack, lunch or quick dinner with mashed potatoes, this recipe is always a hit with the family. And baking in half the time of a normal meatloaf, it will be a hit with the chef as well! #spendwithpennies #meatloafmuffins #meatloafrecipe #minimeatloaf #dinner #snack #freezermeal