Creamy Taco Mac

*edited 11/19/12 to update for dairy-free. This has quickly become a favorite meal.

Made this for the first time last night. It surprised me by actually being good.. even I liked it, and I don’t generally like “Mexican” food. (Quotes because I doubt this qualifies as real Mexican food either. *hehe*) We originally got it here, where she has a fairly healthy (healthier anyway) version. We switched it up a bit. We’re not scared of full-fat 😉 but we do need to make it gluten-free for the littlest. It says it serves 4, but it made it through all of us, despite Elliot snarfing up seconds as well.

CREAMY TACO MAC

Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

8 oz. dry pasta (we use gluten-free elbow mac.. use your favorite shape)
1 pound ground beef
1 Tb onion powder (or to taste)
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 can tomato sauce
1 pack taco seasoning
3 oz. vegan cream cheese, softened
½ cup vegan sour cream
Salt and pepper
cilantro
shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add beef and onion powder cook until beef is no longer pink. Once meat is cooked, mix in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Mix in tomato sauce and taco seasoning and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 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. Simmer over medium-low heat 4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Turn off heat. (At this point we dish up a  thus far dairy-free helping for Elliot now, plus a helping for either seconds or leftovers for him. For the rest of it, we continue on.) Top with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro. Cover and let it sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

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