Friday, June 26, 2009

Taco Macaroni & Cheese

I made this recipe up last night with stuff I had on hand, and it was yummy with many requests for seconds. It's also very quick to make. Since I made it up, you can change it up the way you want. I will put at the bottom some variations you might try.

1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 package of Kraft macaroni and cheese (or generic version)
1/4 cup milk
1 packet of taco seasoning or my homemade taco seasoning (sorry, not pictured)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Fiesta blend but you could use cheddar or whatever kind you like)
1/2 cup baby carrots, very finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup spinach, very finely chopped (optional)Directions
Prepare macaroni and cheese dinner according to package instructions, omitting butter. Meanwhile, brown your ground turkey and carrots together in a large skillet, drain, and return to skillet. Add taco seasoning, 1 cup water, finely chopped spinach, and prepared macaroni and cheese to your skillet. Mix well and let simmer for a few minutes. Top with shredded cheese and let melt.

Hide your veggies!: You can add however many veggies you want in this, and of course you could change it up and add broccoli or some other vegetable you like. I barely detect the carrots and spinach in this at all since I chop them up so finely. I use my hand chopper. You could do it in a food processor too.

Variations: These are some of the variations I thought might be good in this:
-Add a can of diced tomatoes or some salsa to it after you've browned and drained your meat.
-Leave out the veggies if you prefer or change them to something else you like.
-Add some canned black beans to it.
-Put all of it in a 2 quart square baking dish, top with 2 cups cheese (or the 1 if you like), and bake at 400 for 10 -15 minutes. I think I would have liked this option in particular, but we were hungry and didn't want to wait, and I didn't want to add more calories to it with the extra cheese, but go ahead if you like!

If you like this dish, you should try Cheddar Macaroni Beef Casserole

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