Saturday, January 8, 2011

Turkey Taco Mac Light!

Cooking light doesn't have to mean searching out all new, low-fat recipes. It's usually as simple as making a few substitutions to favorite recipes. This dish is just the lightened up version of the super yummy turkey taco mac.

This dish is basically a homemade hamburger helper and naturally a huge hit with everyone. It already started with lean ground turkey, so all I did is use reduced fat cheeses and sour cream. You could make this lighter by using fat free cheese and sour cream but I'm not a big fan of completely fat free foods. It seems the you get more chemicals than actual food with those, KWIM?

This recipe will yield a good amount but it's ok, because this also makes for excellent leftovers.


1¼ lbs. ground turkey
8 oz. dry pasta shapes (I used mini penne)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2-4 tbsp. taco seasoning or 1 envelope of taco seasoning
3 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese
½ cup light sour cream
1/2 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar-jack
Cilantro or parsley chopped (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saute pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Mix in the diced tomatoes,corn and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese,half the cheddar 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 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.

Remove from the heat and top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle cilantro or parsley on top if desired.

Click HERE to calculate nutritional info for this dish.


  1. I just made this for my family tonight & they loved it! Including my husband who makes his living as a chef and my two young daughters :) Thank you! I plan to follow this wonderful blog!

  2. Susanne-

    Wow! What a compliment!! Thank you :)