There are weeks when I seriously can’t come up with a new recipe to save my life.  My creative juices have run dry.  Those are the weeks when dinner is a bowl of cereal or toast with peanut butter.  You think I’m joking, but I’m not!

This last week I was banging out the recipes.  It was a Mom of the year moment!  My family LOVED this cheesy taco bake.  Even my EXTREMELY picky daughter ate this right up.  And if a round of 2 thumbs up wasn’t good enough, this dish freezes well too!  I actually made a double batch and froze individual servings.  My husband has been eating them for lunch now that the weather is slightly cooler.

Since I was serving this for my whole family I kept the spicy level pretty low.  For those that like a little kick in their meal try adding some Tabasco or Hot Sauce to bring it up a notch.  Enjoy!

~Sarah

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 6 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 4 heaping tbsp Homemade Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 7 ounces organic firm tofu (you can also substitute with quinoa or any other protein source)
  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta of choice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup Homemade Croutons, finely crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (optional, I added rice the third time I made this and we really liked it!)
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheese (optional - see notes)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Once the oil is hot add the flour, reduce heat to low and stir until completely dissolved.

    Finished cheesy taco sauce

  3. Add in the enchilada sauce and broth.  Stir well and then add the nutritional yeast and taco seasoning.  Mix well, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large sauté pan add 1 tbsp broth and heat over medium high heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  5. While the onions are cooking, use a fork and mash the tofu into small crumbles.  Add the crumbled tofu and black beans to the pan and stir well.  Remove from heat.

    Add pasta (and rice if using), onions, beans, tofu and sauce together in a large pot

  6. In a large bowl add the cooked pasta (and rice if you are using), the onion, bean and tofu mixture and the cheesy enchilada sauce.  Stir well and transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.

    Sprinkle evenly with cheese if using and then croutons

  7. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top (if using) and then the croutons.  Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 10 servings.

Nutrients per serving without optional ingredients:  Calories: 218.5, Cal. from Fat: 71.5, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 10.5g, Sodium: 48.5mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

The use of shredded cheese in this recipe was 50/50 in my house.  I used Daiya shredded cheese which I am not a big fan of.  It tastes ok but overall I’m happy to go without it on my meals.  My daughter and I both preferred this dish without cheese. My husband and son both enjoyed it with the cheese.  If you want to limit the fat and calories then try going without any cheese.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Leftovers can also be placed in freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Reheat in the microwave in a microwave safe container.

Like with any pasta dish when you reheat the leftovers the dish tends to be a bit drier than when you made it.  I actually make an extra batch of sauce that I freeze in little 4 ounce containers.  That way when I heat up a batch of the taco bake I also have a bit of extra sauce I can add at the same time.

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4 Comments

 
  1. Leah says:

    I made this for supper tonight and it is SO yummy!!! When my husband and I were first married 10 years ago one of our favorite suppers was Hamburger Helper. Since we eat started eating clean, that was definitely off the list. This recipe reminds me of Hamburger Helper, but so much better! And it was fast to make, which is great! Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      I’m so glad to hear you all liked it Leah! And it definitely reminds me of Hamburger Helper too! My freezer is stacked with this dish and it’s my go to meal when I need dinner on the table in a hurry. I don’t know what it is about pasta dishes but they always taste even better once reheated - this one is no exception!

      ~Sarah

  2. Shannon says:

    This looks good, but I have a question — I keep seeing nutritional yeast in recipes. What is it? What does it do? If I can’t find it and leave it out, how much difference does it make?

    Thanks!
    Shannon

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shannon,

      Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods. Nutritional yeast is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan like me, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk foods or supplement section of your health food store. If tend to find it near where the protein powders are. If you can’t find it make sure to ask. Almost every health food store will carry it. You can look for either nutritional yeast flakes or powder, but be sure you don’t get brewer’s yeast by mistake, as its quite similar in appearance. In Australia and New Zealand, nutritional yeast is also called “savory yeast” or “savory yeast flakes”.

      In the recipes where I’ve used the nutritional yeast it is used for flavor and texture. Leaving it out will seriously change the recipe. If you can’t find it please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to change the recipe around a bit. More than likely you should be able to pick some up at your local health food store. It’s rather inexpensive and you get a lot of it for your money!

      ~Sarah

 
 

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