Friday, April 16, 2010

Taco Pasta

Did you know that Chuck E. Cheese sells beer and wine? Is this because they want to simply appeal to the adults taste in beverages or does it mean that the only way to endure the pain of Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday afternoon is with the help of beer or wine? I admit, a glass of wine helps me endure the insanity. I don't have to drive either. :-)

We're not big beer drinkers here. I used to drink beer when I was way younger and we went to the bar and got pitchers of beer. It's been awhile since we've been to the bar so we only buy them for the occasional adult parties. Most of our parties of late, have been with kids. In fact, I can't remember a party without the kids in quite a while.

Moral of the story: When I popped the frig for a beer for this recipe, I found that my few bottles of Miller Genuine Draft had long since expired. Embarrassingly long ago. Also embarrassingly why I keep them in the bottom of the frig. I just keep putting mass amounts of veggies on top of them and they just have become "part of the frig". Sad. Makes me wonder what else is "part of the frig". Anyways, I did however have a couple of cans of O'Doul's that were were in better shape. We have a friend who likes it and we keep some around for him. Thank you David. :-)

I could have simply used chicken stock instead of the beer but the thought of pouring in an entire beer into the sauce sounded intriguing. I am glad I did because the sauce was delicious. You couldn't exactly taste the beer but it did enhance the flavor nicely. We deemed this recipe for sure a keeper, maybe with a bit more zing of some kind as it was fairly mild. Super flavorful but mild.

I guess I'll have to go buy some more beer...

This is my submission to Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted this week by Cynthia at The Kitchen Slave.

This is also my submission to Friday Favorites and Foodie Friday.

Taco Pasta

1 lb. whole grain penne pasta
1 lb. ground turkey, 93%
1 large onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno chile, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 - 12 oz. bottled beer (I used O'Doul's, you could use chicken stock too)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or whatever kind of cheese you like
2 small plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 head lettuce, chopped

Boil pasta, cook until done. Drain and return to the pot. While pasta is working, cook ground turkey in a pan until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the onion, the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, coriander and cumin, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is soft, about 6 - 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute and then stir in the beer. Add the sauce to the pasta, spoon into a serving dish (I just used a 9 x 13 glass pan), add cheese immediately so it will melt. Then top with onion, tomatoes and lettuce.

Total calories = 2877 calories
6 giant servings = 480 calories per serving

1 serving Taco Pasta Toss = 480 calorie dinner

These really were huge servings, I doubt that I ate 1/6th of this. I probably ate more like 1/8th for 360 calories. But it's nice to know that if you are super hungry that you can eat a LOT of food for under 500 calories!

Calories calculated from Some numbers may be rounded or approximate.


  1. This sounds great to me especially with the beer! What I really like is the calorie count! I must admit I've never been to Chuck E.Cheese. Don't know if that is a good or bad thing to admit. ;) Guess someday if I ever have grandchildren, I will go there!

  2. I love how you combine cuisines and cut calaories at the same time. Your pasta looks smashingly good. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Oh I never cooked with beer! Looks so yummy! Looking at your April recipes is enough to make me a follower! Can't wait to read some more!

  4. I actually seriously love cooking with beer...even though I HATE drinking it. Looks like a delicious pasta dish!

  5. Wow this looks amazing! I definitely want to try this now, and I bet my fiance will love it because of the beer ;). Thanks for submitting to Presto Pasta Nights!

  6. This does look good! A nice pasta dish that the kids would like too! I haven't drank a beer in a long time! I like to use a nice dark beer in my chili.

  7. OOPS, think I hit send before doing the security which case...

    I've only been to Chuck E Cheese twice, which was two times too many. Back then, there was no booze!

    The taco pasta, on the other hand looks terrific. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Hope to see you back often.

    And if this is the second...just delete please.

  8. I love anything Mexican - this past looks excellent!

  9. I love the whole idea of a taco pasta! Two favorites in one. It takes the idea of comfort food to a whole new level. I see this in my future!

  10. In a word "yum" can't wait to try this little baby!

  11. Debbi-
    I couldn't resist sharing this with the people who follow my blog, it links directly to you. Hope you don't mind:)

  12. Love this idea! Looks yummy! Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites!

  13. Well, your post was pretty funny and a good recipe too. Actually, not drinking beer is a good way to cut calories. Depending on what you substitute it with.

  14. This sounds REALLY good... I wish I wasn't such a chicken about handling raw meat... :( I won't do it at all.... I wish I could just get over it!

  15. I didn't know Chuck E Cheese served any alcohol at all, but the only place I went to one was in Utah and alcohol used to be very hard to find anywhere out there. But, here in NJ, I know that CEC won't allow any adults in if they don't have kids with them and that surprised me a lot! Just doesn't seem right.

    I plan to try this as soon as possible because it looks wonderful.