Quick-Fix Mac and Cheese

Recipe: Mac and Cheese Taco Dinner

If your family loves mac and cheese, try a twist on the traditional by adding ground beef and taco seasoning. The add-in opportunities are endless!


Hi, I'm Kristy Jordan. With quick fix suppers, you'll spend less time in the kitchen, and more time around the table, so let's get started. My family and I eat mac and cheese all the time, and I'm just wondering if there's any way we can break out of the box. As a mom, I know that you just can't go wrong with mac and cheese as a starting point. Think of mac and cheese as the new baked potato. Anything you would put on your baked potato, you can also toss in your mac and cheese. Try chives, bacon, chili, even broccoli is a great way to sneak in veggies for your kids. Southern Living's taco dinner mac and cheese uses three kitchen staples that you probably have on hand, ground beef, macaroni, and taco seasoning. We're gonna mix those all together to make a quick and easy, kid-friendly favorite. To start, all we're going to need to do is brown some ground beef. I'm using lean ground beef here, [SOUND] and a nice, hot skillet. Chop that up, and brown it until completely done, and then we're gonna drain off the grease. Now our ground beef is all cooked and drained, and we're ready to go ahead and add in our taco seasoning. Add in a packet of dry taco seasoning mix and a little bit of water. Give this a good stir to get it all well mixed up, and then we're gonna simmer it for about seven minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Now I'm gonna move our ground beef to another iron, and I'm gonna start assembling our cheese sauce. To begin with, we're gonna make a simple roux. Don't be intimidated, because I'm gonna show you how quick and easy that is. Start with a nice hot dutch oven, and I'm gonna add just a little bit of butter, and let that melt. Our butter's almost melted, so I'm gonna go ahead and whisk in two tablespoons of flour. Stir that constantly, until it becomes nice and smooth. Now we're ready to slowly pour in our milk, and you want to continue stirring this constantly because milk scorches easily. Stir this for about five minutes, until it's nice and thick. And see, you just made a roux. How easy was that? Now our roux is nice and thick, and the way that we can tell it's ready is by taking a spoon and dipping it in, and see it just gently coats the back of the spoon there. So now that it's nice and thick, we are ready to add our cheddar cheese. Go ahead and buy the cheese in the block and shred it yourself. Not only is it gonna save you money, but it also melts a little easier. Give that a nice stir, and that's gonna melt, and we have a cheese sauce all ready to add our macaroni. Now if you really want to save time, you can actually cook your macaroni a day ahead of time. Undercook it just a little bit, and then put it in your colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Then just store it in a zipper sealed bag in your fridge. Okay, time to add our macaroni and our ground beef mixture. [SOUND] Get the two all married up here. Now I'm ready to serve up our taco dinner mac and cheese. This is gonna be a nice filling comfort food type meal. And I'm just gonna garnish it with a little extra shredded cheese. I hope you get to try this recipe soon. For more great quick fix dinner ideas, pick up your copy of Southern Living or visit us online at southernliving.com.
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