Mexican Casserole - Fast and Easy Stove Top Style

“This is a fast, easy, and tasty recipe I found in a local grocery store circular. I was surprised how tasty and cheap and easy and fast it was. Also, as an added surprise benefit - my one and three year olds BOTH eat this. Wow. You could modify this endlessly I would think. It has become a staple in my recipe set. Just recently it has become more important for us to save every dime, and this recipe fits that bill nicely. This also makes a good size dinner.”
READY IN:
20mins
SERVES:
4-6
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb frozen ground turkey (usually cheaper than fresh)
  • 1 (14 ounce) package macaroni & cheese dinner mix (the kind with the squishy cheese package, not the powdered cheese. I use the Kraft Deluxe 2% milk fo)
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (to taste)
  • 14 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like a little kick)

Directions

  1. Brown turkey. I don't drain, as there is usually very little fat. I mash the cooked turkey with a potato masher to even out the lumps.
  2. Once turkey is cooked through, add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer, adding pasta elbows or shells from the package (I often have to toss in another quarter cup of water during the cooking). Cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times to make sure pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once the pasta is tender, most of the water will be absorbed. Don't worry if there is still some water in the mixture. Now add the cheese packet, the salsa, and the chili powder and cayenne, if using. Stir and heat through.
  4. Fold the black beans in last, warm through, and enjoy!

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