Mac plus cheese plus Mexican equals comfort food heaven!
What are your favorite comfort foods? Is mac and cheese one of them? Does Mexican food come to mind? What about a steaming, gooey, home-cooked casserole? Or a bite of ground meat, like meatballs or a cheeseburger? What if we told you that we’ve combined all of those decadent, comforting foods into one healthy casserole recipe? You might scoff at us and write that recipe off as too fattening, but you know better! We’re Skinny Ms.! We can take a cheesy, meaty, baked casserole and make it clean eating style, low in calories, and good for you!
Here’s how it’s done. We’ve recreated macaroni and cheese using whole wheat pasta and low-fat cheese, two ingredients that are great for you, and big improvements on the originals! Then, we’ve added chili powder, cumin, and salsa, all healthy, low-cal ingredients that make give any casserole that Mexican flair! As for the rich, hearty meat you’re looking for, we’ve substituted turkey for beef or pork, because it’s lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories. When you mix these healthy ingredients and bake them up in a casserole, you wind up with a comfort food dish that is as healthy as it is tasty.
Serve this to your kids any night of the week. They’re sure to gobble it down! Or bring it to your next potluck. People won’t be able to resist its many charms, and when they hear how healthy it is, remember to send them the recipe!
Tex-Mex Meaty Mac 'n' Cheese Casserole
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion small, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 6 ounces whole-grain macaroni dry or penne, or 3 cups cooked
- 16 ounces salsa jar, no sugar added
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro freshly chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups Mexican style cheese shredded, low-fat (optional cheddar)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large skillet over medium heat cook ground turkey and onion, breaking up turkey as it cooks. Once turkey is cooked and there's no more pink color, drain and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1 teaspoon salt, then add pasta. Cook pasta just until al dente, drain.
- Add to the meat and onions, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and cilantro, stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients and toss with a large spoon until combined. Spoon into a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and casserole is heat through.
Have you made this recipe?
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