This is the ultimate comfort food. Who wouldn’t love creamy mac and cheese combined with savory, spicy beef taco meat? This is a dish your family will ask for over and over.
For the taco meat:
- 1 pound very lean ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- ½ cup water
For the macaroni and cheese:
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 3 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (grate a block of cheese. Don’t use a pre-shredded bag of cheese – it will feel grainy in your mouth from the anti-caking agent used in packaging.
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot with salted water. Use enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean. Bring to a full rolling boil.
Stir in the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the ground beef to a skillet placed over medium heat.
Saute the ground meat, using your spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. Cook until no pink remains. Drain off any fat.
Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Mix till well combined. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
In another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and mustard powder. Cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.
Use a whisk to incorporate the milk into the flour mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in both kinds of cheese until fully melted.
Drain the pasta and add back to the pot.
Spoon the cheese sauce and the taco meat into the pasta pot. Use a large spoon or spatula to mix the sauce and meat into the pasta.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American Comfort Food
Keywords: ultimate comfort food, casseroles, casserole recipe, taco mac, mac & cheese, kid-friendly meals