This Gluten Free Mexican Taco Nacho Mac and Cheese is a quick and easy dinner idea that comes together in less than 30 minutes. Sponsored by Horizon Organics.
My youngest son is a little foodie just like his older brothers, although I’d say he takes it to the next level. He has his own signature spice/herb blend that he sprinkles on top of just about everything he eats (we even bottled it up to make it look official). He is also the king of condiments (chimichurri and guasacaca avocado “green sauce” are two of his favorites), and he loves food with lots of flavor. Great flavor alone isn’t enough however – he likes the contrast of crunchy and creamy textures, cool and hot temperatures, and a touch of spicy heat.
So recently, when I picked his brain on how to turn a box of Horizon Organic Gluten-Free Macaroni and White Cheddar Cheese into something special, he came up with this Gluten Free Mexican Taco Nacho Macaroni and Cheese which incorporates everything he loves about tacos and nachos.
Turkey taco meat is mixed in with creamy macaroni and cheese, and it’s all topped off with cool avocado, red onion, spicy salsa, and crunchy taco seasoned panko crumbs. In my book, the best part about tacos, nachos and this Mexican inspired macaroni and cheese are all the toppings and mix-ins.There are so many possibilities.
12 Healthy Gluten-Free Mexican Dinner Toppings and Mix-Ins
- Black beans or pinto beans
- Fresh tomato
- Tomato salsa or salsa verde
- Corn (try pan roasting – it brings out the sweetness)
- Red onions
- Pickled jalapenos
- Plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
- Taco seasoned gluten-free panko crumbs
- Fresh lime juice
I love getting my son involved in the kitchen, whether it’s coming up with ideas on what to make for a snack or dinner, how to spice up a dish or add some crunch to it. It makes him feel good that he’s helped conjure up something delicious that we all can enjoy. One of the benefits of getting him more active in the kitchen is that I can teach him about the importance of making better food choices, which hopefully will travel with him when he eventually goes off to college.
3 Fun Ways To Get Your Kids Active In The Kitchen
If you’d like to get your kids more active in the kitchen, here are three fun ways that have helped encourage my son to be more curious about the foods he eats and how they’re prepared:
- Try to recreate their favorite restaurant foods at home. Two of my son’s favorite restaurant foods are creamy tomato basil soup and arepas, so we recreated delicious homemade versions at home, and my son was the expert judge.
- Take one of your kids’ favorite foods and come up with different ways to serve it. For example, my son loves tacos and nachos, so in addition to today’s recipe for Gluten Free Mexican Taco Nacho Mac and Cheese, we’ve made Gluten-Free Mexican Turkey Taco Meatloaf Muffins and Gluten-Free Turkey Taco Pizza.
- Experiment with foods your child wants to make. I like to think of my kitchen as a chemistry lab for fun – a place we can try new ingredients and create whatever our hearts desire. We made Nutella powder for fun which sparked my son’s idea of making ice cream powder. Although we haven’t figured out how to make ice cream powder successfully yet, it peaked his interest in the kitchen. The idea is to make your child believe that the possibilities are endless in the kitchen – experimentation is all part of the fun.
For more ideas and quick and easy dinner recipes, follow Horizon Organic on Facebook, twitter and check out their Horizon’s Mealtimes Solutions Pinterest Board.
Gluten-Free Mexican Taco Nacho Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 box Horizon Organic Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/2 cup low-fat organic milk
- 2 tablespoons Horizon organic unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 pound ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons water
Taco Panko Crumbs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup gluten-free panko crumbs
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 avocado cut into cubes
- 2-3 tablespoons salsa
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
Cook macaroni and cheese according to package directions using milk and butter.
Meanwhile, make taco meat by heating oil in skillet and browning the ground turkey; add taco seasoning and water and cook until liquid evaporates; set aside.
Make Taco Panko Crumbs by mixing oil, panko crumbs and taco seasoning in a small skillet over medium heat; stir until light brown; remove from heat.
When macaroni and cheese is done, stir in taco meat. Divide into serving bowls and top with avocado, salsa, chopped onions, taco panko crumbs and any other favorite toppings you wish.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
Wowzah! This macaroni and cheese is a dream come true. I love the complexity of the creaminess and the crunchiness. It’s awesome how you take something simple like Mac and Cheese and put a zesty and healthy spin on it. 😀
Thanks Erin – it’s my son’s new favorite way to eat mac and cheese
Thank you Jeanette. Happy Tuesday!
Hope you enjoy this Liz!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
The Horizon Macaroni and Cheese is the only one I buy if I buy mac and cheese at the store! love this spin, Jeanette!!
Thanks Alice – it’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner 😉
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Jeanette – your son came up with the idea behind this recipe? Wow – he is a brilliant foodie – like his mom! This is a take on mac and cheese I’ve never seen before! I am not a huge mac and cheese lover, but the taco seasoned panko breadcrumbs and the avocado would make me wanna try this mac and cheese version for sure!
My son is a fairly picky eater although he eats a pretty wide array of foods, so I’ve found letting him come up with how to spice things up helps – it makes my life easier too most of the time 😉
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
I am not surprised that your sons are foodies! This mac and cheese is so different and delicious.
My boys do love to eat, that’s for sure. Hopefully, that will inspire them to cook more!
I love that you sons are such foodies, that helps keep things fun and interesting in the kitchen 🙂 This mac & cheese looks incredible! I made a taco pasta two weeks ago but this one is so much better! =) I love the taco panko crumbs, such a great idea 🙂
Yes, it definitely makes cooking fun! I’ve never made taco pasta but it sounds good.
EA-The Spicy RD says
Such a fun idea to make a Macaroni and Cheese Taco Bar! My kids are going to love this 🙂
Thanks EA – it’s super kid friendly 🙂