Friday, February 15, 2013

Cheeseburger Pasta

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and def wanted to try it. I can't believe I'm about to admit this on a public blog, but I LOVE Hamburger Helper. There...I said it! I was first introduced to this delicious concoction by some friends right after college. I've been hooked since. We don't eat it often b/c it's not all that good for at all! So I was pretty excited when I found this tastes so much better! Plus, I already had all the ingredients so I didn't have to buy anything! I did have to alter the recipe a little bit b/c 1 cup of macaroni (well penne in our case) wasn't going to feed my family of four. My hubby and kids can eat a lot and we like leftovers for lunch the next day. There's quite a few more steps than my usual recipes, but they are all super easy!

Here's my version:

Gather it:
1 lb ground turkey
3 cups of penne
4 cups of chicken broth (this is a little less than two 14.5 oz cans of broth)
1 can of Rotel (tomatoes with green chilies)
1 pkg of taco seasoning mix
1 small white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced

Cheese Sauce:
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1.5 cups of milk
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Make it:
1. Brown turkey. The original recipe says to drain it, but I'm lazy so I just turn the heat up on high to cook off the excess liquid. Mine's not really fatty since I use turkey and not beef so it's just mostly water. I also throw the onion and garlic while the liquid cooks off.

2. Add taco mix, broth, penne, and Rotel. Mix together and bring back to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Allow pasta to cook through.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and whisk flour in 1 Tbsp at a time to make a rue. Cook for a few minutes.

4. Whisk milk in slowly and bring to a boil. Keep whisking until smooth and thick.

5. Remove from heat and whisk cheese in a little at a time until melted.

6. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta and mix together. FYI my pasta mixture had a lot of liquid until I mixed the cheese sauce in and allowed it to sit for a few minutes then it thickened up nicely.

Add salt and pepper to taste. I didn't add it to the overall dish b/c I figured there was already plenty of salt from the taco mix and I wasn't sure how spicy the Rotel would make the dish and the kids are going to be eating it too. FYI it wasn't spicy at all so I added a sprinkle of pepper and salt to my dish. The kids got theirs as is. They absolutely loved it!!! Yay!!!

You can tell they were really concentrating on their dinner! lol Kevin said both kids were so quiet and just really concentrating on eating.  

Both also asked for seconds. Here's Avery eating seconds...and was a hot mess!

Here's the original recipe.

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