Anytime I find myself stuck in a rut about what to make for dinner, or just on those days that I didn’t plan anything I always find myself turning to either a pasta or Tex-Mex dish. Those are always my go to. Anything Tex-Mex is always delicious and nothing could be easier to make. Toss anything with some pasta and you’re bound to create a wonderful dinner.
So here I am again scouring my pantry and refrigerator trying to come up with something new to make with the ground turkey I have defrosted in my refrigerator. As usual pasta and Tex-Mex are yelling pick me pick me! So I thought why can’t I combine the two?!
Boy am I glad I did. Combining pasta and Tex-Mex in my mind resulted in a delicious taco spaghetti, yup that’s what I’m calling it. I’m not sure what else to call it because it is what it is, taco spaghetti!
If you are ever in the need of a quick week night meal then this is the recipe for you. Your kids are guaranteed to love this dish too! I know mine did. He was shoveling it in his little mouth like it was a plate full of skittles!
This can be made in just a matter of minutes and in about thirty you’ve got a delicious dinner on the table. You can easily change up this recipe too. If you don’t have ground turkey but you have ground beef or chicken then use that. Don’t have bell peppers? Leave them out! Most of us are probably are making this taco spaghetti for the most important people in our lives right, our family. Your kids wont judge if you don’t follow the recipe to a T! We aren’t making some fancy French pastry. It’s oh my goodness I didn’t plan anything for dinner Wednesday, let’s make taco spaghetti night! Just wing it! The majority of us probably always have the fixings for some version of tacos in our kitchen, and it’s a sin if you don’t have at least one box of pasta stashed somewhere, so just make do with what you have. That’s how I come up with a lot of my recipes.
I know you are all probably thinking Lauren, you call this meal taco spaghetti but I don’t see any spaghetti noodles! I know I know! I never use spaghetti noodles or fettuccine for that matter unless I’m making an alfredo sauce, shrimp with lemon and Parmesan pasta, or of course spaghetti and meatballs. I just like to use other pasta shapes better. In my opinion most of the time you never get a good even distribution of everything in the pasta dish when you use something like spaghetti or fettuccine. And plus, when you use something like medium shells like I did, then all the yummy goodness of your dinner gets trapped inside the pasta!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 1.25 oz. packet taco seasoning
- 1 10 oz. can diced tomato with green chilies
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 cups medium shell pasta, uncooked
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup colby jack cheese, grated
- Sour cream (optional)
- Cilantro (optional)
- In a large saute pan with a lid or dutch oven brown ground turkey with the onions and bell pepper until turkey is cooked thru.
- Add in the taco seasoning, diced tomato and green chilies, frozen corn and tomato paste. Stir well until turkey mixture is coated with the taco seasoning.
- Add the uncooked pasta and water to the pan, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover until pasta is done, about 13-15 minutes. Uncover and stir about half way thru to make sure the pasta isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once pasta is done, remove from heat and sprinkle on the grated cheese. Cover just until melted, about 1 minute.
- Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.