Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Lightened Up Taco Pasta

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Plain Chicken

With tax season behind us, I have time at night to make dinner for Mark and me again.  I attempted to start up on Weight Watchers a few weeks ago, and I had a great first week, and then I stopped making it a priority and saw my results worsen.  So I have decided that I am going to start over with a clean slate. 

First things first, I needed to gather some new and interesting recipes that I could make that are light or can be lightened up.  One I am really looking forward to this week is a cinnamon spiced pork loin with an apple salsa.  I think we'll be having that this weekend, so hopefully I'll have another "cooking light" inspired dish to share with you next Tuesday.

For this week, I thought I'd tell you all about the fantastic meal we had last night.  Who would have thought that Taco Pasta would be good for you and flavorful all at the same time.  Well with a few easy adjustments to the recipe below, we were able to put together a tasty meal in just minutes.

Taco Pasta

1 pound ground beef (we used 0.75 lb of 97%, 3% lean ground beef)
8 ounce small dry pasta shapes (we used whole wheat shells)
1 small onion, chopped (I used a medium onion to add the bulk that I took away by cutting back on the amount of meat originally called for)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
3 ounce cream cheese (we used 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (we used light)
Salt and pepper
Shredded Cheese for topping (we used 2% shredded cheddar)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground meat and onion over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Once the meat is cooked through, drain off the excess fat and mix in the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the salsa and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded cheese and more sour cream and salsa if desired.
This was DELICIOUS!!!  Mark was in heaven.  You had no idea that it had been lightened up in any way!


  1. Yum! That sounds delicious!! I am going to have to add this to my list of recipes to try. I'm sure I will love it!!

  2. This looks amazing and sound super easy. Thanks for sharing love

  3. That sounds good!! I think I'm going to have to try it very soon!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm going to make this tomorrow night!

  5. I'm going to make this tomorrow night!

  6. Oh my goodness!! This is officially in rotation in our home!

  7. So yummy! I agree Paula its now in rotation!

    Great that you can sub in low fat items and it's still great. We did ground turkey instead of ground beef :)

    I bet this would work with chicken, peppers & fajita spice!

  8. This even got "two thumbs up" from my 9-year-old daughter, the picky eater. It was delicious!