Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese Recipe
Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese Recipe

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4.5 11 16
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Decreasing the butter and replacing the half-and-half with milk helped cut a whopping 658 calories and more than half the fat from this casserole. Even though the cholesterol was reduced by 75% and the sodium by 40%, Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese offers all the heart-warming comfort of the original submission.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelope sloppy joe mix
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 390 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 923mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 23g protein.


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the turkey, celery and carrot over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water and sloppy joe mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain macaroni; set aside. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the process cheese until melted. Add macaroni and 1 cup cheddar cheese; mix well.
  3. Spread two-thirds of the macaroni mixture in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread turkey mixture to within 2 in. of edges. Spoon remaining macaroni mixture around edges of pan. Cover and bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Sloppy Joe Mac and Cheese in Light & Tasty August/September 2005, p9

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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ladylaura User ID: 314186 233434
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2015

"This is a family favorite that I make often. The meat sauce part freezes well, so I usually make a 5 times batch of the meat sauce, then serve 1 and freeze 4. The days when I make it by thawing the meat sauce, it is super easy."

Joscy User ID: 2694585 54662
Reviewed May. 3, 2013

"Since I have insulin dep. diabetes, this dish sounds like it may work well for my needs. Thank You for sharing."

CMChapman User ID: 7091955 54661
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2013

"I just made this tonight and it was SO good. I had to make some adjustments for my diet, since I have to eat gluten-free. I substituted rice for the pasta and beans for the meat. I will definitely make this again. My family loved it!!"

niagaracat User ID: 3122379 69704
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2013

"Makes lots. I added a full pound of meat."

hlillis User ID: 1381495 54659
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2012

"My family really enjoyed this dish. It was very rich. The next time I make it I'll add more meat & less cheese."

thewife06 User ID: 6402653 62615
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2012

"It's missign something that I can't put my finger on, but yummy none the less! Perfect comfort food. The recipe is very large, so I split it into two 9X9 dishes. One for dinner tonight, one in the freezer for a night when I don't want to cook. :)

My husband says: Perfect comfort food!"

SaraJoy User ID: 5984313 54789
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2011

"This recipe was okay but I don't feel it's worth all the prep. and clean up. It is a good diet "comfort food" but it's nothing special."

Nellstrum User ID: 1088590 84130
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2011

"I used beef instead, and halved the amount of mac, milk,and cheddar, just because there is only two of us. the rest of the recipe I kept the same. I'm making this my new mac and cheese. Sooooo much flavour. As suggested in the magazine I will also try replacing the sloppy joe mix with taco seasoning. Dorothy I thank you."

mom23kids User ID: 3946374 103879
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2009

"I used ground chicken instead of turkey and also 1% milk. Most delicious"

akglmu User ID: 1794463 62614
Reviewed May. 27, 2009

"Made this without carrots because I didn't have any and used fat free milk. It turned out AMAZING! Great flavor and I agree that it is very creamy and filling. Definitely a recipe for that I will be making again and again!"

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