Creamy Taco Mac

by Jenn on May 6, 2010

in Gluten Free,Meats,Pastas and Grains


Sometimes I have to remind myself, that while we generally like the same tastes, it’s just so rewarding to see my husband’s face light up when he gets excited about some things, like this dish.  I asked him as we were walking home from work one day if he thought this sounded good, and he instantly transformed from a serious scientist to a 6 year old boy again.  You would have thought I had just suggested having Christmas, it was so precious.

I made a yummy cheesy dish, a creamy “taco mac” – I saw Annie post this a few days ago and while I knew I would certainly like the flavors, I knew that my husband would just fall in love with the dish.  He goes out of his way to do so many great and wonderful things for me, I want to show my appreciation even if it’s something as small as dinner.

For you see, food is like poetry.  It can be a simple short and sweet sonnet, like this quick and easy dinner, or it can be an adoring ode to love, saying what ordinary words never could.  I am not so good with my words, so I choose to write poems with food instead.  All sorts of different types, blending new flavors together to bring out emotions and memories, but with each one pouring out a little bit of my soul, and my love.  I’m so glad my husband knows how to translate :)


Creamy Taco “Mac”
Adapted from Annie’s Eats originally on Delish

Ingredients (4 very filling servings)
1 lb. ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small can green chiles
1 tbs. paprika
1 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. cumin
cayenne (to your heat tolerance)
8 oz. pasta (regular or GF)
8 stem tomatoes (diced)
4 oz. cream cheese
3/4 c. cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper
4 oz. cheddar (or your favorite kind) cheese, grated
Cilantro and avocado to garnish

1.  Heat a large skillet on med. heat and start cooking the ground beef.  Add in onions, chiles, garlic and spices, stir occasionally until meat is cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, heat up a medium pot with salted water until it comes to a boil. When boiling, add in pasta and continue to boil until pasta is tender, at which point take off heat, drain and set aside.
3. When beef is fully cooked, add in tomatoes, and bring down to a simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Stir in yogurt and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  I had some really juicy tomatoes -if yours aren’t so much, you may want to add a little water to get the right consistency of sauce (maybe 1/4 cup). Add salt & pepper if needed.
4. Serve on top of pasta, top with a little grated cheddar, some cilantro, and a couple slices of avocado for garnish.  Enjoy!


Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays


Iris May 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

My boyfriend would love this! This would be an extra special treat considering that I usually refuse to cook with beef, which he loves. And by the way, you are great with words!

Jenn May 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Aww thanks! The original recipe called for ground turkey, but I knew my husband would appreciate using beef too :)

Chelsey May 7, 2010 at 12:12 am

This is a real ‘Mans meal’! My husband made a similar unhealthy variation that came out of the box when we met. This looks so much better than his. I bet he would get that same boyish look (I live for that!) if I made it for him your way.

Jenn May 7, 2010 at 3:08 am

Haha about the “man’s meal”, that’s exactly what I thought when I first saw it too!

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free May 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

I think I’m going to make this for Joe tonight…he’s coming home from a long trip and would love a good meal. I have all the ingredients and it looks so much simpler than pounding out chicken breasts.

I love Joe the way you love your husband…we’re both quite lucky to have such good men in our lives.

Jenn May 7, 2010 at 3:17 am

Ha when I made it I decided it was much simpler than making the originally planned lentil burgers….

and you are right, quite lucky indeed :)

Jaime May 7, 2010 at 2:56 am

I always thought this looked good, Annie does a great job, but your picture threw it over the top and made it look downright gourmet, which it’s not, and not supposed to be. Nice job. It’s now on the list of things to make sometime soon.

Jenn May 7, 2010 at 3:34 am

Oh thanks so much for the lovely compliment, I’m glad you liked the picture!

Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 7, 2010 at 3:27 am

This takes taco pasta to a whole new level with all f that creamy goodness!

Jenn May 7, 2010 at 3:39 am

Yes, it certainly does! The creamy cheesy goodness was exactly what drew me to it :)

Rosa May 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

That is a great idea! Your Taco Mac looks lipsmackingly good!



Jenn May 10, 2010 at 10:27 am

Thank you!

Valérie May 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Mmmm, I’ve seen something close to this… somewhere, and I was drawn to it. It looks delicious!

Havin someone’s face light up when you suggest a dish is a real thrill, indeed! I usually know exactly which ones will make my boyfriend smile, but it’s even nicer when the reaction takes us by surprise!

Jenn May 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

Yes, it is always a great unexpected surprise! It’s nice to know such little things can bring about such joy :)

Katie Newell (Healthnut Foodie) May 8, 2010 at 5:58 am

Oh yum! This looks great! We have been moving all week and this looks so comforting and easy. Thank you for the great recipe. :)

Jenn May 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

Your welcome! I hope it is tasty and good luck moving!

ashley May 10, 2010 at 8:03 pm

my husband was the original inspiration when i first created the recipe. i knew he’d love it. he also frequently lights up when it comes to food… its a match made in heaven :-)

gfe--gluten free easily May 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Lovely post and great dish, Jenn! Yes, add me to the list of folks who is thrilled to make my husband happy with food. :-) He spoils me in many other ways and I try to spoil him with his favorites. That’s why we’re having manly food tonight (pepper honey steak) with a side of healthy (new broccoli dish). 😉


Linda May 16, 2010 at 2:07 am

My guys would love this, I’m sure!

darcy May 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

what is a stem tomato? just a regular tomato that comes on a stem? or is it supposed to be stew tomatoes? if so, how many cans?

Jenn May 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Yes, stem tomatoes come on a stem and are sold fresh in the produce section – I like to use them because of their texture and flavor – I am sure you could substitute stewed tomatoes if you wanted…

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