Taco Macaroni


If there’s one thing I love on a busy weekday is a quick, one pot meal. We love tacos around here and although we could eat them every night, sometimes it’s good to mix it up. This Taco Macaroni is simple to make, full of flavor, has the veggies and is comforting, especially on these colder and darker evenings. I must be fully transparent with you: the recipe below is the base of which I cook from whenever I make this. Sometimes I add more vegetables, sometimes I toss some refried beans in or skip the corn but every single time I make it, it’s delicious and we love it. This is a dinner that saves time, money and is reliably good meal each time!



Here are some tips on making this one pot wonder:


  • If you’re looking to lighten things up, replace the cream cheese with the same amount of Greek yogurt!


  • If you’re not using dairy milk, try cashew milk or an unsweetened coconut or almond milk. I prefer to cook with an unsweetened cashew milk because of its richness and I feel it has the most consistency when using it in place of dairy.


  • Any cheese combination will work for this recipe, but I love the added boost sharp white cheddar gives so I like to mix that with some Monterey.


  • If you don’t have a chicken broth or on hand, substituting water is just fine. The chicken (or vegetable broth) adds so that much more flavor!


  • Easily make this gluten-free!


  • Easily make this in the crockpot! Just saute veggies and meat first, transfer to the crock and toss in the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 4 or 5 hours or cook on high for up to 2. Not quite a one-pot meal this way but easy enough!



INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, diced

1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 red or green pepper, diced

1 pound ground turkey (or beef)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes, undrained

1 8-ounce jar tomato sauce

4 cups chicken broth

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained and rinsed

1 packet taco seasoning (or homemade)

12 ounces pasta

4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed

1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded

1 cup Monterey cheese, shredded

¼ cup milk


DIRECTIONS


In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium to high heat, sauté onion, garlic, and pepper in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the ground meat to pot along with salt and pepper, stirring until browned and fully cooked. Mix in tomatoes, sauce, chicken broth, beans, and corn. Sprinkle taco seasoning over pot and stir until well combined.

Bring pot to a boil and add in pasta. Lower heat to medium to low temperature and cover, simmering for about 20 minutes. Continue to stir every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking. If the mixture needs more moisture or the pasta is not fully cooked, add up to 1 cup of chicken broth or water.

Once the pasta is cooked, stir in cubed cream cheese and mix slowly until fully incorporated. Stir in cheeses until thoroughly melted. Stir in milk. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste. Add toppings such as scallions, olives, sour cream, or jalapenos before serving.








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