Yum! This was a great dinner, if not exactly gourmet. A few weeks ago I was organizing my recipe binder and found a ton of recipe I had filed but never tried. This fajita mac was one that's been in the binder forever and I decided to finally give it a shot last night. Originally titled Fajita Macaroni and Cheese, I changed the name because, in my opinion, there was just not enough cheese to justify calling it mac and cheese - the recipe only called for a sprinkling of cheese on top before baking. However, just now while writing this post I re-read the recipe and realized I was supposed to use salsa con queso which would have given me the extra cheese. I had just used regular salsa, although I did mix in a little shredded cheddar before baking. Oh well - Joe and I still thought this was awesome, and it was healthier with just the plain salsa. I think in the future I'll continue to use regular salsa since we enjoyed this so much as is! The only other change I made was to top the casserole with crushed baked tortilla chips instead of taco shells and to use whole wheat elbow macaroni. (My changes are reflected below, but refer to the original recipe if you want it cheesier!) Reminiscent of Hamburger Helper, this had fantastic flavor and the comfort food feeling of enjoying an old guilty favorite. It was a great Friday night dinner!
1 pound ground beef
16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 (1.4-ounce) envelope fajita seasoning mix
1 (15.5-ounce) jar salsa
1/3 bag of baked tortilla chips, crushed
Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles; drain. Stir in macaroni, 1/4 cup green onions, seasoning mix, and salsa; pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed chips.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup green onions.