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Lots of leeway in the mixture of some classic favourites

So what are we making, really?

Is it turkey dinner? Is it a chili? Is it macaroni & cheese? Or is it something completely different?

I’d say it’s actually all of the above … and more!

This is a great recipe for experimenting with and also to turn one meal into the next.

Ground turkey was something that didn’t even exist, say, 30 years ago, but is now a staple of your local grocery store shelves. It is a great lower-fat option for all of your favourite ground beef recipes and also gives it a little different spin.

This makes a great an easy chili that you could certainly just eat on its own for dinner one night and then turn it into a Tex-Mex mac & cheese the next to use up the leftovers. (Actually chili prefers to be called previously cooked.)

One could omit the beans and chili and add oregano and basil and call it Italian style “Mac.”

Really you could add or subtract other veggies or flavours and turn it into anything you want.

You could call it anything you want as long as you don’t forget to call me for dinner!

Turkey Chili Mac & Cheese

Recipe by Chef Duff

Really you could add or subtract other veggies or flavours and turn it into anything you want.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups finely chopped onion

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp. each ground cumin and chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 can (540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes

  • 2 cups (500 ml) macaroni or other pasta

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

  • Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat; cook onion and jalapeño (if using), stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt; cook, stirring, for 1 minute, adding a little bit of water to pan if needed to prevent sticking.
  • Push onion mixture to side of pan; add turkey. Cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Stir onion mixture into turkey; continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until turkey is cooked through. Stir in beans and tomatoes; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  • Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until softened but still quite firm (it will cook further in hot chili). Drain well; stir into chili. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if you’re using it.

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