Monday, March 28, 2011

Dinner for Four: Taco Pasta

One of the many benefits of living at home (an topic itself I will be writing about shortly) is that Handsome Husband and myself rarely have to cook dinner for ourselves.  Hat Dad has been the primary “homemaker” in our family for years, and he cooks dinner nearly every night for our entire family, HH and I included.  It has been such a blessing, especially being that I take night classes three nights a week, to have a home cooked meal almost nightly.  Hat Dad is out of town for a few days though (as is Gardening Mom), so I have taken over the cooking in his absence.    

When Handsome Husband and I lived alone, I loved trying new recipes, and am a big proponent of Menu Planning.  Tonight I tried something new – Taco Pasta.  We are big pasta fans, and HH especially loves Mexican food, so I thought this would be a great combo for us!

I originally saw the recipe here at What's For Dinner?, a blog I love for recipe ideas.  I've found some of our very favorites at this blog.

I altered the ingredients slightly, as I doubled the recipe and used low-fat versions of just about everything I could.  This is a strategy I always use when cooking - use low fat/non-fat versions when combining in a recipe because the likelihood you will taste the difference is slim to none, but you can shave significant calories off the total.  

Taco Pasta
The below ingredients yield about 8 servings. 

1 lb ziti pasta (I always buy the store brand - so much cheaper and doesn't taste any different)
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion - diced
2 1/4 cups salsa
2 packets taco seasoning - look for low sodium
6 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup low-fat sour cream
Garlic salt
Mild cheddar cheese

Prepare pasta as usual - when draining, save 1 cup pasta water.  Set aside.

While preparing pasta, cook ground beef and onion over high-heat until brown.  Drain off excess fat and add garlic - I always use garlic salt because I love the flavor and hate dealing with garlic cloves.  Add salsa and taco seasoning - simmer until pasta is ready.

When pasta is ready, add to meat mixture the drained pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, and saved pasta water.  Stir constantly until cheeses are melted, and sauce is mixed well.

Top with shredded cheese to taste.

I served it with Hawaiian roles (mainly because I had forgotten to put the biscuits I wanted to serve it with in the oven in time), and it could have used a vegetable accompaniment.

I think this recipe would be great with ground turkey or even ground chicken for that matter!  It was a hit at this household, Sister Swimmer and HH were big fans.  Husband even considered it in the running for our Family Favorites Book of Recipes!

PS - if you're wondering why I made enough for 8 servings, then you haven't seen the amount HH eats!


Sister Singer said...

Daddy Fix It? I thought his name was Hat Dad!

Shellsea Hunnel said...

Tutor Girl here! I have to menu plan, I really like this website,

Also, what is this Family "Favorites Book of Recipes" you speak of? :-)

Casey said...

@Shellsea - I've used that website before - love it!

Our Family Favorites Recipe Book! I will post on it soon - promise!

ksmith2186 said...

Looks delish! Can't wait to try it! I'm going to use ground turkey...I use that instead of ground beef in everything! :D

Casey said...


I also prefer turkey, but HH and the rest of the fam likes beef - small sacrifices for everyone to be happy!

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