Gather around – it’s story time. I’m only telling you this because I know my twin brother doesn’t read this blog. He’d smack me.
Anyway, the year after we graduated from High School he went to work with AmeriCorps while I went to college. One night, he went to make Hamburger Helper…but found he was out of hamburger and milk. In a moment of sheer starvation and desperation he decided to make the box mix anyway – using only butter he figured it would be just like boxed mac and cheese, right? WRONG!! He says it was the most vile thing he’s ever tried to eat and couldn’t take more than a couple of bites (and for him that’s saying a lot). In our house, it’s commonly referred to as “the Helper Incident”. We won’t let him live it down.
This recipe, on the other hand, is something he could have totally made without the meat and it would have been perfect – it tastes just like Hamburger Helper!
I love when I come across recipes that look incredibly tasty and can easily be converted to a dairy free version…this is definitely one of those recipes. It was amazing! So creamy – you’d never know it was dairy free!
1¼ lbs. Ground turkey
1 Box small pasta
1 Small onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can Diced tomatoes, drained
4T. Taco seasoning (I used a packet of hot and spicy taco mix b/c that’s what I had in the house – the extra heat was great!)
3oz. Soy cream cheese
½C. Soy sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.
Husband Rating – 4 out of 5 – “A healthier Helper for the 21st Century!”