I love a good 30 minute meal and this one is fantastic. The longest part is waiting for the pasta to finish cooking. I have made this quite a few times. The cottage cheese is what originally sold me on this dish. I love adding cottage cheese to so many dishes. It adds a lot of extra protein which means I can use less meat. I added 3/4 Lb. of lean meat to this recipe, but sometimes I only add 1/2 Lb. and it is still just as hearty and delicious.
My other version of Taco Pasta is fabulous and it's one of my favorites, but it has some butter in it and lots of cheese. This taco pasta is healthier than other versions, because there is no butter or oil and the only cheese that is added is cottage cheese. You could always add a little cheese if you prefer, Cheddar, Monterey or Feta would all taste fabulous, but honestly, I don't even miss the cheese.
I love using the large shells, because they fill up with the creamy sauce, but you can use whatever type of pasta you prefer.
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Healthier Taco Pasta
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)
8-12 oz. large shell pasta (or other type of pasta)
3/4 Lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. onion powder
pepper, to taste
1 Tbl. brown sugar, opt.
1/2 c. hot pasta water
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can mild Rotel, un-drained
1 heaping cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro
Cook pasta according to package directions; reserving 1/2 cup hot water. Meanwhile, brown ground beef or turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the taco seasoning, cumin, onion powder, some black pepper and brown sugar. Carefully add 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water to the skillet and stir to combine; allow to simmer for a few minutes. It should be thickened at this point. Stir in the beans, Rotel, cottage cheese and cilantro. Continue to heat over medium heat and add the drained, cooked pasta. Stir until pasta is evenly coated in sauce. The sauce should be thick and creamy, but if it isn't, simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Serves 4-5
slightly adapted from: Sweet Treats & More
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