This healthier take on Hamburger Helper can have as much - or as little color as your picky eater can tolerate. Add roasted red bell peppers, broccoli florets, whatever your picky one will eat. Cooking the whole thing in one pot is just a bonus! You can dump it in a casserole dish, add breadcrumbs and melted butter, or crushed potato chips or Ritz crackers, and bake at 375 for 20 minutes for a crunchy top, if you’re into that. We are. 

 

Prep Time10 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time30 mins

Shopping List

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or tapioca/arrowroot powder)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 diced red bell pepper or chopped roasted red bell pepper (optional!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (grown ups love this!)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups milk, (1% or 2% regular milk - or use unsweetened nut milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces elbow pasta, (use whole wheat or gluten free pasta if desired)
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional!)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

 

Cooking Instructions

1

Place olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks. Drain excess liquid from the pot and return to the stove.

2

Add the onions and cook with the turkey until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook an additional minute until fragrant.

3

Add the peppers to the pot and cook another 3 minutes until slightly softened.

4

Add cornstarch and spices and stir until the meat mixture is thoroughly coated.

5

Add the milk, water and pasta, bring to a boil then reduce to a medium simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times while cooking.

6

Uncover the pot, turn off the heat, add the spinach (or steamed broccoli florets, or peas) and cheese and stir until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

Ingredients

Directions

1

Place olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks. Drain excess liquid from the pot and return to the stove.

2

Add the onions and cook with the turkey until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook an additional minute until fragrant.

3

Add the peppers to the pot and cook another 3 minutes until slightly softened.

4

Add cornstarch and spices and stir until the meat mixture is thoroughly coated.

5

Add the milk, water and pasta, bring to a boil then reduce to a medium simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times while cooking.

6

Uncover the pot, turn off the heat, add the spinach (or steamed broccoli florets, or peas) and cheese and stir until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

Ground Turkey Mac and Cheese