Well, this came out awesome. I was in the mood tonight for something really comforting, but also healthy and easy to make.
This cheesy delicious goodness was just what the doctor ordered.
Here we have the stars of the show:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Over high heat, boil a large pot of salted water and cook 2 heaping cups of large elbow pasta according to package directions.
While you are waiting for that water to boil and pasta to cook, let’s get the casserole filling started.
Heat a few TB of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and add about 1 cup of chopped onions. (About 1/2 a large yellow onion)
Add in 2 chopped cloves of garlic and saute for another minute.
Add in 1 lb of ground turkey.
Add 1 tsp of Kosher salt and 1 tsp of ground pepper. Cook the turkey until it no longer pink.
Add in 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 TB of tomato paste, 2 TB of Dijon mustard, and another 1 tsp each of Kosher salt, black pepper.
Mix the tomatoes and mustard into the ground turkey.
Add cooked pasta to the turkey mixture.
Add 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and mix everything together.
Transfer the turkey mixture to a greased 9 x 12 or 8 x 11 casserole dish.
Using the same pan that you cooked the turkey in, make the cheese sauce.
Start by melting 2 TB of butter.
When the butter is melted, add 2 TB of flour.
Whisk the flour into the butter for about a minute so that it forms a golden roux.
The pour in one cup of 2% or whole milk.
Whisk the mixture for 30 seconds to a minute longer until it thickens slightly and then add in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
Whisk the cheese into the milk until it melts and forms a creamy sauce.
Pour the cheese sauce over the turkey and pasta mixture.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
You will get this amazing, cheesy casserole.
Serve with a green or spinach salad with a light lemon vinaigrette.
I ate this casserole with a spinach salad, and as I was eating it I thought of adding spinach to the casserole! It would be delish. Next time… and there will be a next time.
- 1lb ground turkey
- 2 cups large elbow pasta, uncooked (use whole wheat if you can find it)
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 2 TB Dijon mustard
- 2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- For the cheese sauce:,
- 2 TB butter, organic if possible
- 2 TB flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside. (Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to loosen pasta if necessary)
- In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the ground turkey, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Using a spoon, Break up the turkey and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- Add the cooked pasta and mix with the turkey mixture until combined. Taste for seasonings, and add salt if necessary.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish. Either a 9 x 12 or 8 x 11 dish will work.
- Using the same pan the turkey was cooked in, make the cheese sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. Cook roux for one minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Whisk the milk and flour mixture for another one - two minutes until slightly thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the turkey and pasta mixture.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
- Make sure to taste the casserole mixture for seasonings before adding the cheese.