July 24, 2017

Three-cheese turkey & spinach mac

Ground turkey and fresh spinach are added to this stovetop macaroni and cheese, making it a more nutritious meal and also extra tasty. My twins are turning one this week!! I can't believe it. This past year has been amazing and crazy and a whirlwind. It's true what everyone tells you - the days can be long, but the weeks are fast. It's so cool to watch them grow and change. They are learning new things all the time. I love watching them interact with each other (when they aren't hurting one another) and seeing their very different personalities develop. So far we've been lucky in that they both love, love food and eating. So I'm always trying to come up with baby and toddler foods that they will enjoy and also can eat/chew safely. This meal was a big hit for them as well as my husband and I. I love meals that are all-in-one. Just put a couple scoops in a bowl and you're good to go. This meal will easily feed about 5-6 people. So if you are like us you will get a bunch of lunch leftovers.

Three-cheese turkey & spinach mac
1 lb box short cut pasta (I used small shells so it was toddler friendly)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (I use dark meat)
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz. bag baby spinach, roughly chopped*
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3-1/2 cups milk (I used 2% & whole)
1-1/4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese 
1-1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the turkey and cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, a good pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. When the turkey is cooked through, stir in the spinach and cook, stirring often, until it wilts down. Stir in the flour and cook for about one minute. Stir in the milk and bring to a low boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring often.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese a handful at a time until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper as needed. 

Stir in the pasta. Garnish with addition cheese, if desired.

*I chopped to make it appropriate for the babies to eat. This is optional. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: pink grapefruit pie
Three years ago?: cherry cheesecake ice cream


  1. Anyone who loves pasta and cheese would love this delicious dish. Definitely a crowd pleaser, Amy. Your twins are so adorable.

  2. Looks delicious - I love meals the whole family can enjoy!
    Oh my goodness...your little munchkins have gotten sooo big! One year already...it goes quickly!
    Happy Birthday to your babies ♥

  3. this looks amazing! definitely trying this soon. :)

  4. Your babes are adorable and your turkey dish sounds delicious. I can see why the meal was a big hit with them and it's great they're such good eaters and love your food!

  5. Great picture of your kids! SO cute. And super recipe too -- this looks really tasty. Thanks!

  6. I can't believe the twins are already 1 year old. They are SO CUTE!!! That's great that they love this mac & cheese dish, but then who wouldn't. Love the addition of the ground turkey and spinach. Make it a complete meal.

  7. what cuties! this is like hamburger helper scaled up 100 times in flavor and quality! :)

  8. Oh I know someone who would love this recipe! Thanks for sharing :) Happy Fiesta!

  9. This is lovely recipe, surely a hit with kids of all ages! Thank you for sharing it at the Fiesta, Amy!

  10. What a great way to get the babies to eat spinach! This sounds perfect for kids.

  11. This sounds so delicious I can't wait to make it! I bet it would also be great with ground beef or ground chicken if the store is out of turkey. I LOVE the idea of adding spinach to the recipe--so yummy!


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