Sneaky One-Pot Mexican Pasta

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Food blogger, mom of three and regular TODAY food contributor, Siri Daly is all about making parents’ lives a bit easier in the kitchen. Here she shares with us her recipe for sneaky one-pot mexican pasta.

Siri reveals to us, Everyone always assumes that because I write a food blog (and now a cookbook!), my kids must be fabulous eaters. EHHHHHH. That’s the sound of an annoying buzzer. WRONG! I have picky, picky eaters. Right around 18 months, each of them started rejecting all healthy foods (I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture). I’ve felt everything from frustration, anger, shame and embarrassment over it. Yet on my good days, I realize their palates are still expanding and they won’t be like this forever. Case in point: My son now eats salads! Victory! So I carry on, trying and sneaking: trying new foods, and when that doesn’t work, sneaking them into their meals. Cue this cheesy, one-pot Mexican pasta with a whole lot of, wait for it, SQUASH! The frozen squash sort of melts into the ground turkey, creating a slightly sweet counterbalance to the spicier Mexican flavors. Obviously, the best part about this dish is you can make it in about 30 minutes in one pot. The first time I made this, my oldest and youngest gobbled it up. The stubborn middle child? Well, we had a 1950’s style showdown. She sat there, crying, begging for a treat, resisting even one bite, and I held firm and drank a bottle of rosé by myself. Small victories, my friends.

Serves 6
Hands on time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1⁄2 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (12-ounce) package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
8 ounces uncooked pasta of your choice
2 cups chicken stock
1 (8-ounce) jar taco sauce
1 1⁄2 cups preshredded Mexican cheese blend, plus more for garnish
1⁄4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the ground turkey, and cook, stirring, until crumbled and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the taco seasoning, and cook, stirring often, until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squash, pasta, chicken stock, and taco sauce, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Stir everything up, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the pasta is al dente, 12 to 15 minutes.

2. Add the cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and the scallions, if desired, and serve!

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Excerpted from Siriously Delicious by Siri Daly. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved. Buy the book here. 

Siri Daly was a television writer and producer before becoming a stay-at-home mom of three young kids. She started her popular food blog, Siriously Delicious, as a place to keep track of the recipes that worked for her continuously busy life. Married to Carson Daly, she is now a regular TODAY food contributor and resident comfort-food expert, often cooking on-air with her husband. They live in the greater New York area. For more of Siri’s wit and humor and a peek into her life as a busy mom, visit




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