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Creamy Taco Mac

March 15, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post

Better for you hamburger helper — that’s what we decided this recipe was. Reminiscent of hamburger helper but without all the preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Creamy, cheesy, and delicious! I could probably live off this pasta for lunches for weeks on end. Its so good! I love recipes like this that become instant favorites and kitchen repeats as a result of cooking out of the pantry when you haven’t been grocery shopping in awhile. Do you have some favorite meal that are a result of just cooking out of the pantry?

You could easily use ground beef of course in this recipe, but we actually prefer the turkey flavor! With some wheat pasta and lightened up cream cheese and sour cream, its not too bad for you! Its a perfect weeknight meal! Delicious, quick & easy!

Creamy Taco Mac

1.25 lbs ground turkey
8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning
3 oz cream cheese *
1/2 cup sour cream *
salt & pepper
cheddar cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water.

Over medium heat, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes. Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese and sour cream. Give it a good stir until cheeses are melty and incorporated.  Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, as desired. Top off with cheddar cheese for extra cheesy goodness.

* I have successfully tested this recipe with low fat cream cheese & sour cream.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet March 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

That looks so good and I am loving the addition of sour cream and cream cheese – I bet it is so creamy!


Theresa March 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

Ohhh I shouldn’t have looked at this. Mac & cheese is my ultimate weakness and this looks too good to pass up! In fact, I think I have all the ingredients I need at home. I might have to make this ASAP! I love that you used ground turkey. We use it all the time in place of ground beef – tastes about the same and it’s healthier!


redkathy March 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

This mac looks wonderful! I’m a huge fan of fast and delicious meals. Ground turkey and low fat dairy, what a great way to lower the fat content.


cpwalk2 March 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

This looks freakin’ amazing! Just like my old friend, Hamburger Helper. I will definitely be trying this out so thanks!


Tracey March 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Yum, this looks wonderful! We love pasta dishes here and this one would almost certainly be a hit.


Nina March 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Just made this tonight- used a little less cream cheese, soy chorizo (field roast brand), yogurt, omitted the taco seasoning (soyrizo has a ton of spice), and a bit of pepper jack, served it with some green onions….freaking amazing. Definitely going in the recipe rotation, especially considering how finnicky regular mac and cheese can be.


Jessica {The Novice Chef} March 18, 2010 at 3:08 am

Yum! Haha this reminds me of my college hamburger helper days, but so much more grown up since it didn’t come out of a box!


Brianna March 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

mmm looks so delicious and comforting. I better put this one on the list for next week!


Carisa March 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I made this the other night and it was so yummy! I swapped the cream cheese and sour cream for the fat free versions and it was very creamy. This one has gone into the recipe box :) Oh and it has reheated for leftovers very nicely for the last two days!


Heather @ (The Single Dish) April 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I have a box of whole wheat pasta that needs to be used- this recipe looks like the one! Thanks, looks amazing…


Dani May 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

I’ve had this one marked to try ever since you posted it and finally did so the other night – it was incredible! I swore off Hamburger Helper a long time ago, but there’s no denying the comfort in a creamy noodly meaty dish like this one. My husband loved it, too, so thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to blog about it!


ashley May 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Glad you liked it Dani!


Ashley July 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Oooh this looks phenomenal! AND, I have all the ingredients on hand! I bet if I threw a couple pieces of velveeta (okay okay, not a true cheese, but oh so good in comfort food) or cheddar cheese in, that’d add a nice twist too!


Ashley July 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Oh I forgot to ask – How many servings do you think this is?


ashley July 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I’d say 4 servings.


Tara @ Smells Like Home September 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Ashley…we just made this tonight for the first time and it was outstanding! I used your taco seasoning recipe too (although with chili powder in place of the ancho since i was out). Kyle is [ashamedly] a huge fan of hamburger helper and this totally impressed him…enough so that he licked the plate clean after two heaping servings. lol thanks for posting!!


michelle October 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for posting, I loved this!


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