Sep 062014

This Mexican twist on everyone’s favorite comfort food features ground beef or turkey, authentic spices and tons of melted cheese.


Taco Mac & Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Mexican twist on everyone's favorite comfort food features ground beef or turkey, authentic spices and tons of melted cheese.
Recipe type: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Meat and Poultry, Pasta
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb. box of pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (or Homemade Taco Seasoning*)
  • ¼ c. butter
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 4 c. milk
  • 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 c. monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • Green onions and tortilla strips for garnish, if desired

Instead of a packet of store-bought taco seasoning, use this mixture of common spices that are already in your pantry for a fresh, homemade taste:
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta one minute less than al dente package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Brown ground beef or turkey in a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Drain fat from skillet and mix half of the taco seasoning packet with meat. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Slowly whisk the flour into the butter, reducing heat and stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  7. Slowly add milk, continuing to whisk as you pour. Return heat to medium.
  8. Add the remainder of the taco seasoning.
  9. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens (approximately 6-10 minutes).
  10. While sauce is cooking, toss together both kinds of cheese in a large bowl.
  11. Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat.
  12. Add about ⅔ to ¾ of the cheese mixture (approximately 2 cups) to the sauce. Stir until melted.
  13. Toss the cooked pasta, meat, and sauce together until combined. Transfer to a 9"x13" baking dish.
  14. Top with remaining cheese mixture.
  15. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  16. Cool for 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with green onions and tortilla strips, if desired.


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