This dish is a definite staple in my house, and is loved by all. Even my picky pants niece who doesn't eat anything scarfed it down when she came to visit this summer. It makes a TON, like 2 meals worth, so it would work great as a friendship casserole (make one, give one to a friend) or to stick the other one in the freezer for an easy meal at a later date.
- 1 pound box elbow macaroni, I use Barilla Plus Whole Wheat Macaroni
- 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 cups chopped onion, about 1 large onion
- 1 TBSP chopped garlic
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast. I always end up with 2 1/2 because I buy it from Costco
- 1 can crushed tomato (28 oz)
- 2 cans tomato sauce (each 14-15 oz)
- 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup. Sorry, no way around this one.
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 cups shredded 2% cheddar or colby jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the macaroni to al dente, set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 TBSP olive oil then season and brown ground turkey. Drain meat and set aside. Add remaining 2 TBSP olive oil to skillet, add the peppers and onion, saute until soft. Add garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant. Do not allow garlic to burn, bleck! Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and cheese soup. Stir to combine. Add basil, oregano, and cumin and allow to simmer over medium low heat for a few minutes allowing flavors to meld together. At this point, give it a taste and add your salt and pepper until right for you. Add the ground turkey into sauce. In a LARGE bowl (I said it makes a TON right), combine the macaroni and the turkey sauce mixture. Stir to combine and pat yourself on the back for getting your arm workout in for the day (remember the aforementioned, makes a TON). Spread this mixture into 2 casserole dishes or, as I do, a 9x13 pan and a 8x8 pan. Top with cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Once this bad boy is done baking, if you can still use your arms from stirring this mammoth amount of food, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!