From the kitchen of Zachary Campbell
1 box of pasta (preferably large or small shell pasta, but you can also do it with rotini)
1 – 1.25 lbs. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 large can of diced tomatoes
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 – ¾ cups beef stock (varies depending on how many tomatoes you use)
1 small onion (finely diced)
1 small bell pepper (color is based on your preference, finely diced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
1 bag of shredded cheese (three cheese and Mexican blend work nicely)
1 jar of salsa
Place the can of tomatoes into the crockpot.
In a medium/large pan, sauté onion, pepper, and garlic until veggies have softened. Place into crock pot when done.
Brown ground beef in the same pan (even if some veggies are still there, it makes it taste better). Drain meat when it is cooked, and then place it back into the pan.
Add taco seasoning and the required amount of water on the packet. Let the meat sit on low heat, stirring occasionally until it has dried up. Put meat into crock pot.
Add beef broth to crock pot.
Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and stir it into the crockpot.
Add water/beef broth if needed, but you don’t want it to be a soup consistency. It should stir like a thick chili at this point.
Turn crock to low heat, cover, and let sit for at least six hours (or, four hours on high heat).
Stir occasionally so the cream cheese will melt evenly.
When you are about an hour from wanting to eat, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
When the desired doneness is reached, rinse and drain pasta.
Remove crockpot lid and stir in pasta. Leave the lid off for the remainder of cook time.
Add cheese (the more the merrier!) and stir well.
Let crockpot sit, on low, for at least 30 minutes. This helps dry out the dish, melt the cheese, and keep the pasta warm. For real, wait at least 30 minutes. It makes it better.
Add cheese, sour cream, salsa as desired.
Season with salt, pepper, or garlic salt as needed.
Garnish with raw onion, chives, cilantro, or other toppings as desired.
Crushed corn chips also work well if you’re adventurous.