This is one of my new favorite recipes! I found the original version by Canadian Moms Cook through my Pinterest. I made it a while back and while I liked it, I thought it needed just a couple changes. To be honest, I really only added more cheese and little Rotel, but I think it made a difference.
It's ridiculously easy and relatively quick to make.
Makes 8 1-cup servings. Each serving is 8 points plus.
1/2 - 3/4 box of bowtie pasta
1 pound of ground beef (I used ground sirloin because I'm fancy and it has a lot less fat).
1 pkg/envelope of taco seasoning
1 cup of water
1/2 can of tomatoes with green chiles (i.e. Rotel)
3/4 package of cream cheese (I actually used Neufchâtel, but you could live it up)
1 1/2 (approx) cups of shredded Mexican blend cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil pasta until just cooked; drain, run cold water over it.
3. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef.
4. Mix taco seasoning and the water; pour over cooked beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
5. Add the cream cheese to the beef mixture, stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat.
6. Combine pasta and about 1 cup of the cheese. Add 1/2 can of Rotel. (note: I normally do this in the same pot I cooked the pasta in. You can do it in your casserole dish, but it seemed to messy to me)
7. Top pasta and cheese with beef mixture, gently mix until the pasta is coated.
8. Transfer to casserole and top with remaining 1/2 (and maybe more!) cup of shredded cheese.
9. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.
Additional Note: I have used both a 9x13" dish and a 1-quart dish for this recipe and both worked fine. Also, I kind of eyeball the amount of cheese used on the top; 1/2 cup is just a guideline. You can do more or less.