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Tonight’s Dinner: Macaroni taco bake


When you ask kids what they want for dinner, nine times out of 10 you’ll hear “mac and cheese,” but if you’re sick of those little boxes, add some ground turkey and taco seasoning for a whole new spin on a comfort food favorite.

One of my favorite comfort foods is macaroni and cheese. I don’t mean the kind that comes in the box, I mean the thick and cheesy, homemade kind. However, since I don’t always have a couple of hours to melt the butter and cheese, sometimes I have to resort to the box. It’s quick and easy and actually kinda yummy…for being in a box. Being who I am, I never just use the ingredients in the box, I always add stuff to spice it up and make the mac and cheese just a little more interesting. Sometimes I add meat, sometimes I add vegetables, sometimes I add nothing at all. Well, this was not one of those nights.

Thanks to Taste of Home, I found a recipe that took that box of mac and cheese and completely turned it on its head. It was cheesy, meaty, spicy deliciousness all wrapped up in a casserole dish. And the best part? My son not only got his pasta fix, he got his meat and vegetables, too.

Macaroni Taco Bake


  • 2 packages (7-ounces each) macaroni and cheese
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh salsa
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the turkey meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink; add the taco seasonings and water and simmer for 10 minutes; stir in salsa and set aside.
  3. Spread prepared macaroni and cheese into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer with turkey mixture, chips, and olives; sprinkle with cheese blend.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately by itself or with sour cream or guacamole if desired.

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