As I am getting close to the end of my pregnancy, I am getting more and more tired and most nights, I do not feel like cooking a full meal for my family. Most nights, I fight the urge of ordering in or tossing a pizza and some wings in the oven for a quick meal. Although I really love cooking, my energy is just not there every night these days to make dinner.

So one afternoon, I was on the internet searching for a quick dinner idea that was yummy and comforting, and I stumbled upon this homemade Hamburger Helper recipe. I don’t know about you, but I grew up on Hamburger Helper! Once I was old enough to use the stove by myself around the age of 10, I would make myself dinner and more times than not, it was some variation of one of the many Hamburger Helper flavors.

Without hesitation, I decided I am going to make this yummy comfort meal for my family but tweak it to my current craving – Tacos! I have been on a taco, burrito, guacamole/salsa kick these days! I am calling this version of my homemade hamburger helper – Southwest Taco Style Homemade Hamburger Helper!

Southwest Taco Hamburger Helper
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  • Box of macaroni and cheese – I used 1 ½ boxes of Aunt Annie’s Mac and Cheese
  • I also used the powdered cheese from this box of Mac
  • 2 cups macaroni – If you aren’t using a box mac and cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 16 oz shredded cheddar/monterey blend cheese or Taco blend cheese
  • Taco seasoning to taste
  • ½ lb ground Turkey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Taco Seasoning Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)

Add all the spices to a mason jar. Cover tightly and shake!

How to Make:

1) Boil macaroni until it is halfway cooked. Do not fully cook the pasta.

2) In a separate pot, put 1 cup milk, ½ cup shredded cheese, the powdered cheese from the box (if using), half of the chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until cheese melts and it creates a nice cheese sauce.

3) In separate pan, season the ground turkey with the rest of the chopped onions and taco seasoning to taste (use your cooking judgement) then cook the ground turkey fully through. Drain the oil and set aside.

4) In one big mixing bowl, mix the cooked ground turkey, macaroni, and cheese sauce together.

Mix the macaroni, cheese sauce, and cooked ground turkey.

5) Then pour ½ macaroni, turkey, and cheese sauce mixture in a baking dish and layer with some of the shredded cheddar cheese. Similar to how you would layer a lasagna. Then pour the rest of the mixture and top with more shredded cheddar cheese.

Layer the macaroni, cheese sauce, and turkey mixture with shredded cheese.

6) Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 mins until the top is bubbly and slightly browned.

7) Serve with the side of your choice and enjoy!

Bake and enjoy!

I love to eat this dish by itself because hello….it is macaroni and cheese! Sometimes I will add a side of steamed broccoli or some veggie to make it a healthy full meal.

If you tried this recipe, let me know by commenting below! How did you like it? Did you make any changes? I’d love to hear from you!



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