Now I know that recently I posted an easy macaroni and cheese recipe on the blog but I really couldn't resist doing another one. With a basic recipe like mac and cheese there are just so many variations on this family favourite. My recipe however, takes a bit of help from the store to make weeknight meal time even faster. The salsa in this mac and cheese really brings out the flavour

in the sauce. The sauce has not only a tomato based flavour but also has a bit of kick and zing, all of which I love! The kale and the turkey sausage help to really make this a substantial meal. Give this weeknight winner a try!

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 25 minutes

  • 1/2 lb penne or any tubed shaped pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 turkey sausages, out of the casings
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 can (284 ml) condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • half a can of 2% or whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of mild or hot chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/2 cup tortilla chips, smashed to coarse crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a medium sized casserole dish. Cook the penne pasta until al dente (follow package instructions). Heat oil in a large deep skillet, on medium high heat, and saute the onions and the turkey sausage; making sure to break up the sausage using your wooden spoon. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. After 2 minutes, add in the chopped kale and saute until it starts to wilt down. Bring the heat down to medium. Then add in the condensed cheddar cheese soup, half a can of milk, 3/4 cup of salsa and the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the sauce comes together and starts to bubble. Add in the halved cherry tomatoes and cook them only for a minute, add in the cooked penne and stir until all of the pasta has been coated with the sauce.

3. Take it off the heat and pour it into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the smashed tortilla chips on top of the mac and cheese, then place it into the oven to bake for a good 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm. I recommend serving this with a light salad on the side.

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