Good morning! I am so excited about my freezer cooking, menu planning, money saving meals! I am also finding that so many recipes are very adaptable to my family, even if changes need to be made.
I decided to make the Taco Pie, shared on the Money Saving Mom (Crystal Paine) blog. In case you haven’t read my freezer posts from the beginning of my journey, this is the blog that gave me the confidence to customize my freezer cooking to what works for me. Some days, I can do 2-3 hours of cooking and some days, I don’t get anything in the freezer. But, what I do get prepped and frozen, is saving me a nice chunk out of my grocery bill. I have to admit, I am not really seeing the difference right now, because I am taking the extra and stocking up on things like meat I find on sale, coupon/store deals that are too good to pass up, like name brand shampoos for $.50-$2. And so on….
I have made the “baking mix” pies for years, but never considered freezing one! I was quite excited at the thought, because now, this just opens up a whole new possibility for my menu planning!!! On the day I made the taco pie, I made a homemade meat sauce also. I had three pounds of ground beef. As the beef got done, I looked at the chunks of meat in my pan and thought about how I never get these broken down enough for everyone to have an equal share of the meat. The last time I made pizza, I decided to put the cooked beef in my food processor, because I needed enough to go around for 5 pizzas and only had 2 lbs of beef. When I finished, I had meat left over and was able to distribute it out so that all of the pizzas were covered with meat. I liked that I got the meat in every bite and it appeared to be so much more meat. I made the choice to do this with the meat for the taco pie and the meat sauce.
I measured out the meat (after cooking) and divided it in half. There are five of us, and that is 2 adults and three teens, so I knew that one pound of beef would not be enough to feed us. My plan was to make 2 taco pies and do 3/4 of a pound in each. I figured it would save on meat and they wouldn’t miss the little bit that was “missing.” Just as I got the meat cooled, the realtor sent me a message that someone wanted to see the house. I had to make a decision to put the meat in a zip top bag, and get it in the freezer. I knew that I could add the bread mixture when it thawed.
On Wednesday, I got the pack of “Taco Pie” out of the freezer to thaw, knowing we would need to eat early because of church. I was trying to decide on the sides I needed to prepare. As I looked at the pack of thawing meat, I decided that instead of doing a side of beans and a side of corn, I would add it to the mixture…
I had also made a double batch of butter horn rolls that day, for the freezer, and as I was rolling them, I really wanted some of those fresh rolls for dinner. I am trying to watch my bread intake, so I decided not to add the breading to the “taco pie.” I guess I now have a Taco Casserole! I topped it with the cheese…..
and stuck it in the oven until the cheese melted, served it with rolls, and the whole family LOVED it!!! This was my final product:
And now for my version of this recipe:
Freezer Friendly Taco Casserole
- 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 2 packages taco seasoning mix
- 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies, drained
- 2 cups whole kernel corn
- 2 cans beans (any type of bean will work. I had a can of chili beans and a can of great northern. If you do your own beans from dry, you will want to use about 3 cups.)
- 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Brown the beef with the onion. Add in taco seasoning, chilies, corn, and beans. FOR FREEZING: Put mixture in a freezer safe bag or container. On day of use, thaw, top with cheese, and bake until bubbly and cheese is melted.
My husband suggested next time we have this, that it would be great on tortillas. I think he is correct!! Of course, all of the taco toppings would be good, as well!!