Giant Pot-luck Sized Turkey Taco Pasta

turkey taco pasta

This recipe makes a monster pot of super-tasty turkey taco pasta – perfect for pot-lucks, parties, sleepovers with lots of hungry children, or just a big meal with leftovers. There are no salt-laden seasoning packet or processed foods involved – just real meat, vegetables, and cheese. And it’s really, really good.

A trick I learned for getting beautiful, glossy melted cheese – don’t buy the pre-shredded cheese. Buy a block of cheese and grate the cheese right before baking, this is how I got the cheese to look like a sauce. You can use any variety of cheese for this of course. You can also half the recipe if you are not cooking for a crew.

Giant Pot-luck Sized Turkey Taco Pasta
 
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Q&DK
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. pasta (short varieties work best, like macaroni, shells, or rotini)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit this if making for kids that don’t like spice)
  • 8 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mild diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (7 oz.) can mexicorn (or regular corn), drained
  • Jalapenos, optional
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Scallions to top, optional
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve a 2 tbsp. pasta water before draining. Drain and set aside; toss with the reserved pasta water to prevent sticking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. In a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, cayenne (if using), and chili powder. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the turkey and salt/pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  5. Stir in the green chiles, tomatoes, and corn. Carefully stir in the pasta, mixing to combine. Top with jalapenos if desired. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
 
Notes
A trick I learned for getting beautiful, glossy melted cheese – don’t buy the pre-shredded cheese. Buy a block of cheese and grate the cheese right before baking, this is how I got the cheese to look like a sauce. You can use any variety of cheese for this of course. You can also half the recipe if you are not cooking for a crew.

 

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