I realize Fall temperatures have not officially arrived in most of the country just yet, but I promise you, they will come. They always do. And when the air chills, the sky greys, I long for warmth and comfort.
Yes, I do often find that comfort in food – most specifically the foods that provided me comfort when I was little. Or, at least some version of them.
One of the first dishes that comes to mind? One my grandmother always made – only when it was chilly outside and only when she could tell I needed it….grilled cheese and tomato soup. Since she passed a few years ago, that meal has taken on a new, nostalgic meaning.
The other comfort dish – one that I have passed on to my kids – mac and cheese. Yes, I started them early – and for them, I’d venture to say it is more that simply comfort food. It is a favorite. Since I’d hate for you to be bored with the basic dish, I thought I’d spice it up by combining it with a little ‘Taco Tuesday’ Action.
Allow me to tantalize you with the deliciousness and ease that is Turkey Taco Mac & Cheese.
Turkey Taco Mac & Cheese
Is it easy to make? You bet. Will you love it? You bet? Will your kids love it? Of course they will.
- 1 lb pasta (I used gnocchi shaped pasta…not actually potato gnocchi)
- 1 ½ lbs ground lean turkey
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 small/medium onion, chopped
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 pouch taco seasoning mix (1oz)
- 1 cup mild cheddar cheese
- 1 cup cheddar jack cheese
- 1 ½ cup 4 cheese mexican blend (Monterey Jack, Asadero, Queso and Cheddar)
- For garnish: sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese
- In a large pot with salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- While pasta is cooking, brown turkey in a pan and drain.
- When pasta is done, drain.
- In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add milk.
- Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the pot, whisking, along with salt, pepper, and garlic.
- Add sour cream and whisk until combined.
- Add taco seasoning and whisk until you see no lumps.
- Put in all of your cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Return drained pasta to the pot along with drained turkey.
- Stir with a large spoon until fully incorporated.
I used frozen ground turkey. Un-frozen/thawed would work fine.
Use reduced sodium taco seasoning to reduce sodium.
Use your favorite cheese(s) instead of the ones listed to make it your own!
Looking for a healthier alternative – check this out: Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese.