I do love a good freezer meal! Sometimes, you just have a good day. Isn’t it a breath of fresh air? I try to capitalize on those days by working ahead, and freezer meals are one of the best ways to make life easier down the road. This easy, healthy recipe can be cooked and eaten on the same day, or kept in the freezer for a rainy day.
- 1 box of gluten free penne
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- Salt and pepper to taste
If eating on the same day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease 9×13″ pan.
In a medium-large saucepan, bring salted water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente texture as directed on packaging.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add ground turkey, and break into pieces. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Cook until browned; set aside.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Add butter and cheese, and stir until melted and well-combined. Add salsa and turkey.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly. If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese.
If freezing, cover tightly and freeze up to 6 months. To prepare, remove from freezer and thaw completely; then bake as follows.
If preparing casserole, bake at 350 degrees F 20-25 minutes, until warmed through and top is brown and barely crispy.
The pasta in this recipe can be substituted for gluten free rotini, macaroni, or any other pasta of your choice. For an even easier option, this recipe could be made from boxed macaroni and cheese. Simply prepare 2-3 boxes as directed on packaging, and add turkey and salsa. Bake for slightly less time.
The turkey in this recipe could be substituted for ground beef, if desired. The turkey makes this recipe leaner, but either one could work. The recipe will also work without meat, if you are vegan or vegetarian.
If you are celiac or have gluten sensitivity, be sure to check your spices carefully for gluten or cross-contamination. Several reliable companies make celiac-safe taco seasonings. Or you can make taco seasoning from scratch with this easy recipe.
If dairy is an issue for you, you can use a butter substitute or an equal substitution of coconut oil or olive oil. Instead of dairy cheese, swap out shredded vegan cheese.
There are some great salsa options out there. Feel free to experiment or use your favorite! I’ve had great results with Aldi’s Casa Mamita salsa, and it’s a staple in my kitchen. Or, you could make your own if you prefer!
To jazz up this recipe, you could add black olives, a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, crushed corn chips, or whatever else you’d like!