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Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese

  • Prep 50 min
  • Total 1 hr 15 min
  • Servings 10

Classic macaroni and cheese gets reinvented as a hearty casserole with a layer of ground beef seasoned with peppers, onions and taco seasoning. MORE + LESS -

Ingredients

3 1/2
cups uncooked penne pasta (12 oz)
1
lb extra lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1
cup chopped red bell pepper
1
cup chopped poblano chiles
1
cup chopped red onion
1
package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
2/3
cup water
1 3/4
cups milk
3/4
cup heavy whipping cream
5
tablespoons butter
3
tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1
teaspoon salt
1 1/2
cups shredded pepper Jack cheese (6 oz)
1 1/2
cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1/2
cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs
2
tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
  • 2
    Meanwhile in 5-quart Dutch oven, cook beef over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown; drain, and set aside. Add bell pepper, poblano chiles and onion to Dutch oven; cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions start to soften. Stir in beef, taco seasoning mix and water; heat to simmering. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. Transfer to medium bowl; reserve.
  • 3
    In 4-cup glass measuring cup, mix milk and cream. Return Dutch oven to low heat; melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in Dutch oven. With whisk, stir in flour and salt until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; reduce heat to medium. Stir in cheeses. Cook until melted, stirring occasionally. Stir pasta into cheese sauce. Remove from heat. Pour half of pasta mixture into baking dish. Top with meat mixture, then remaining pasta mixture.
  • 4
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are bubbly.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, in 8-inch nonstick skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in bread crumbs; toast 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle over pasta mixture; top with cilantro.

Expert Tips

  • Any combination of bell peppers can be used to suit your crowd.
  • For perfect baked pasta texture, cook penne just to al dente as directed on package.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
600
Calories from Fat
270
% Daily Value
Total Fat
30g
47%
Saturated Fat
17g
83%
Trans Fat
1g
Cholesterol
105mg
34%
Sodium
900mg
37%
Potassium
470mg
13%
Total Carbohydrate
56g
19%
Dietary Fiber
5g
22%
Sugars
5g
Protein
27g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
90%
90%
Vitamin C
35%
35%
Calcium
25%
25%
Iron
20%
20%
Exchanges:
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 2 Lean Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

© 2017 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

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