This Mexican twist on everyone’s favorite comfort food features ground beef or turkey, authentic spices and tons of melted cheese.
Taco Mac & Cheese
This Mexican twist on everyone's favorite comfort food features ground beef or turkey, authentic spices and tons of melted cheese.
Author: Cara Borromei
Recipe type: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Meat and Poultry, Pasta
- 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
HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta one minute less than al dente package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Brown ground beef or turkey in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Drain fat from skillet and mix half of the taco seasoning packet with meat. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Slowly whisk the flour into the butter, reducing heat and stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
- Slowly add milk, continuing to whisk as you pour. Return heat to medium.
- Add the remainder of the taco seasoning.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens (approximately 6-10 minutes).
- While sauce is cooking, toss together both kinds of cheese in a large bowl.
- Once sauce has thickened, remove from heat.
- Add about ⅔ to ¾ of the cheese mixture (approximately 2 cups) to the sauce. Stir until melted.
- Toss the cooked pasta, meat, and sauce together until combined. Transfer to a 9"x13" baking dish.
- Top with remaining cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Cool for 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with green onions and tortilla strips, if desired.