Mexi-Mac

This casserole freezes well, so I usually divide it in half. If you have a larger family you might want to double the recipe so you have an extra dish for your freezer.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 Tbsp taco seasoning, divided
1 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 15-oz can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 16-oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups elbow macaroni, dry
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 375° and mist a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions minus 1 minute. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain and rinse the pasta in cold water, and set aside.
3. In a very large skillet, sauté the ground beef until no longer pink. Season with 1 Tbsp of the taco seasoning. Add the onion, pepper and celery and cook until softened. Stir in the remaining taco seasoning, beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in cooked noodles. If the mixture seems dry, stir in some of the reserved cooking water.
5. Spread the mixture in the prepared 9×13″ pan and sprinkle with cheese.
6. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until hot.

Servings: 6

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