Cheesy Chili Mac
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups water
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
8 oz (about 2 cups) elbow macaroni
1 1/2 -2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
Set a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is no longer pink.
Stir the water and tomato sauce into the ground turkey mixture in the pan. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Cover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a vigorous simmer. (My pasta took about 12-13 minutes to cook through. The sauce will be thick by the time your pasta finishes.)
Turn off the heat under the pan and add 1 cup of the cheese. Stir to incorporate/melt then season the dish to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining cheese (1/2 - 1 cup depending on how cheesy you want your dish) over the top and cover the pan again. Let stand for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
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