Enchilada pasta fits the weeknight meal
Fellow parents, I can’t say this enough about this recipe. It truly is one of our family’s favorites, and most requested dishes in our home. With this week’s return to school here in Carson, I’m sure you’re looking for some quick and easy weeknight meal options, and this fits the bill.
This recipe covers all the hopes and dreams a parent could ever have in one meal: one-pot wonder, no complaints from the picky eaters club, kids who are ready to devour it in seconds and still take it in their lunches the next day. Must I sell this recipe to you anymore?
What’s even better? My kids can make it. Recently a friend of mine told me she had her kids make dinner once a week. Her kids are around the same age as mine (we have two starting middle school and one on his last year in middle school) and I thought, this is brilliant. Having the kids make dinner one night on their own fits right in with our goal to teach the kids how to take care of themselves, and not just make mac and cheese or top ramen when they live on their own. Our kids also do their laundry and help with dishes and caring for the dogs. It’s a regular child labor factory around our house.
Something someone once told me “don’t do for your kids what they can do for themselves” has always stuck with me.
A good way to ensure I was caring for my kids while also making sure they become amazing responsible humans.
So when I asked my kids if it was something they’d like to try, they jumped at the opportunity. Kids really do like to do adult things, it builds their confidence and sense of pride. The boys chose to take this week and wanted to make their favorite, enchilada pasta.
This is a great recipe to start making with your kids. They can start young too. My daughter was cooking with me when she was little. She’s 11 and makes pancakes, eggs, brownies and many other things on her own.
So the boys’ job was to:
1. wash their hands
2. read the recipe through,
3. gather ingredients, and,
4. get cooking.
I was nearby to help as needed, but I let them take the reins.
They did a terrific job. You could see how proud of themselves they were at the end. Even my daughter told them it was “so good.” When dinner was ready they said “everyone wash your hands” and “what would you like to drink?” They got everything needed to set the table without me telling them!
I was impressed. Not only did they just make a meal, but then all three of the kids finished by cleaning up the kitchen. How lucky am I?
I was excited to show my husband what I taught the kids to do…now I need to teach the dogs to get my morning coffee.
2lbs ground turkey (or beef or pork)
1 tbsp. olive oil (if using ground turkey or ground chicken)
1 1/2 cups broth
3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning (or 1 pkg store-bought)
1 12oz jar of your favorite enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
Garnish: sliced olives, sour cream, and cilantro (optional)
1. If using olive oil, heat the oil in a pan. Add the meat and brown, seasoning with the taco seasoning.
2. Stir in broth and enchilada sauce.
3. Add the pasta and make sure the pasta is covered, if it’s not, it won’t cook well.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes, check the cooking time on the pasta package and then I usually add 2 minutes to that time. Cook until your pasta is tender.
5. Remove the pan from the hot burner, stir in the 1/4 cup of sour cream.
6. Layer the cheese on top, you can stick it under the broiler for a few minutes if you would like. Or just let the pasta sit for a few minutes, the cheese will melt.
7. Serve with garnishes and a pantry salad or steamed vegetables.
8. INSTANT POT VERSION:
a. Brown the meat with seasoning.
b. Stir in sauce, broth and pasta.
c. Cook on HP 4 minutes. (should be about 1/3 of the time the regular pasta cooking instructions indicate).
9. Serve with a pantry salad. (Greens, cucumber, tomatoes and homemade vinaigrette dressing). Vinaigrette Dressing 3 Parts Oil (olive, canola, walnut, grape, flavored oil) 1 Part Acid (wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Orange Muscat vinegar) Salt and Pepper Honey or maple syrup (the real stuff).
Amanda Long is a long-time resident of Carson City. She is passionate about cooking and photography. She has 1 husband, 3 kids and 2 dogs. She runs a Pressure Cooking Group on Facebook at ModernPressureCooker Recipes.com. You can find more of her recipes on TheHomemadeCook.com.