Main Dishes, Recipes, Turkey

Creamy Taco Mac

Have you heard the news? After all these years of being with my husband, the Hamburger Helper fanatic, I have found a variety of Hamburger Helper that I tolerate like enjoy alright, I give up, love. I have recently fallen in *love* with the one and only Creamy Taco Mac. Me, the girl who despises packaged foods and powdered cheese and all it stand for!

Creamy Taco Mac - a fast, easy, homemade version of Hamburger Helper made with ground turkey & simple pantry ingredients | thepajamachef.comAlright, enough, you say. Why are you posting about a packaged food product on a food blog? Well… there’s a catch. [There’s always a catch, isn’t there?]

It’s homemade Hamburger Helper.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya? 🙂 [Don’t worry, I will not ever post a recipe for any sort of boxed food product. Except maybe one discussing how amazing boxed brownies are and how yummy they taste in pillow cookies.]

This is Hamburger [Turkey?] Helper as you’ve never had it. Oodles of gooey, melty cheddar cheese covering chunks of tomato, tender macaroni noodles, and taco seasoned ground turkey, all bound together by a luscious cream sauce with a tiny bit of kick. It’s like a return to childhood right on your dinner plate, with good enough leftovers to fight for. Creamy Taco Mac - a fast, easy, homemade version of Hamburger Helper made with ground turkey & simple pantry ingredients |

Creamy Taco Mac

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

from Smells Like Home


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 14.5 ounce can sodium-free diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 tablespoons taco seasoning [store-bought or from scratch]
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
  • black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta as directed in a large stockpot, reserving one cup of pasta water before draining. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, brown ground turkey over medium heat until cooked through. Reduce heat to low. Add taco seasoning and tomatoes, then simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar cheese to the stockpot with the pasta.

Slowly and carefully spoon in ground turkey and tomato mixture. Season with a good amount of black pepper. Add as much reserved pasta water as desired. A full cup is usually too thin for me, but adding some of the water makes the sauce better, in my opinion. Stir until well combined.

Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until cheeses are melted.

Serve with additional sour cream and cheese if desired. Enjoy!


10 thoughts on “Creamy Taco Mac”

  1. I am grinning ear to ear. I grew up eating hamburger helper(from a box) it was my favorite meal, no joke. I would outeat my whole family when we had it. Although it may have been my fav meal from elem to h.s., I would no longer eat it now as an adult. However, I would eat yours! It looks very yummy. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


    1. thanks! photoshop & fireworks. i just took a summer class about web graphics and my final project was redesigning my blog. 🙂 let me know if you need any tips!


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