Southwestern macaroni and cheese with ground turkey makes a quick and easy meal that your entire family will love!

A serving of southwestern mac and cheese in small black stoneware dish with fork along side.
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Ever have one of those days where you just need a quick and easy solution for dinner? Something that everyone will like, something that doesn’t make too many pans dirty, and something that comes together fairly quickly.

Or maybe one of those days is actually more like every day. That’s what I’ve been feeling like lately. Don’t know if it’s the weather or what, but I’m just not in the mood to create some elaborate dinner that my kids won’t even like. I want a sure thing. Something everyone will devour.

About this mac and cheese

I always have a few boxes of macaroni and cheese on hand for lunches but also for quick dinners. It’s always fun to mix it up a little and do something different with the macaroni and cheese. That way the kids and the adults are happy with dinner.

A serving of mac and cheese with pan in background, also box of Horizon Classic Mac and Cheese.

I like to go the southwestern route. I pair the macaroni and Cheese with cooked ground turkey, my favorite homemade taco seasoning, black beans, bell peppers and onions. If you happen to have leftover taco meat in the freezer or fridge, use that instead of the ground turkey. Leftover chicken is good, too.

Once it’s all combined, I stir in some extra cheese to up the cheesy goodness of the southwestern macaroni and cheese. Continue heating it in the saucepan until the cheese melts. If you want, put it all in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven for a half hour or so.

Serve with toppings! Dress it like you would a taco — cilantro, sour cream, salsa, even some shredded lettuce would be great on top of this southwestern macaroni and cheese.

Closeup of a forkful of mac and cheese.

More Mac and Cheese recipes

We can never get enough mac and cheese! Here are a few more recipes you may enjoy:

Recipe

Southwestern Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Turkey

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This Southwestern macaroni and cheese with ground turkey makes a quick and easy meal that your entire family will love!
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Ingredients 

  • 2 boxes (6 ounces each) boxes of Macaroni & Cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup organic milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • one 20-ounce package of ground turkey breast (extra lean)
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced small (about a cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small (about a cup)
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning (more to taste)
  • 6 ounces mexican blend finely shredded cheese (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 green onions (more to taste), thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan, prepare Horizon macaroni and cheese according to box directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add turkey, red onion, and red bell pepper. Saute, breaking up turkey, until turkey is cooked through and onions are translucent. Stir in black beans, taco seasoning, prepared macaroni and cheese, and shredded cheese until cheese is melted.
  • Serve topped with sliced green onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 296mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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A serving of mac and cheese in small oval dish with fork along side.
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