Taco Beef and Butternut Rice with Cilantro “Sour Cream”

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I wanted to get this recipe out for AIP Taco Beef and Butternut Rice with Cilantro “Sour Cream” before Cinco de Mayo celebrations begin in early May! Mexican or Latin American food may seem nearly impossible on AIP without the tomatoes, corn and spices, but we have so many delicious herbs and seasonings at our fingertips that mimic our favorite ethnic foods!

In this family-friendly dish, I riced the neck portion of a large butternut squash (basically to avoid dealing with seeds!). The Butternut Rice is combined with taco beef with all kinds of tasty additions. I topped these tasty bowls with a Cilantro Sour Cream and Crispy Leeks. The combination of textures, flavors and temperatures here is quite frankly addictive! I found myself standing over my stovetop eating this dish straight from the skillet. That’s how you know it’s a good one!

My daughter also devoured this dish up and she usually does not like when foods are mixed together. My husband on the other hand prefers food all mixed together in a bowl, so this recipe has been on heavy rotation in our house! Hope you and your family love it too!

4.8 from 9 reviews
Taco Beef & Butternut Rice with Cilantro "Sour Cream"
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  1. Peel butternut squash and slice into 1-in wide pieces. Fit your food processor with the shredder attachment. Shred butternut squash and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Saute red onion for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in the dried herbs and spices and 1 teaspoon sea salt until well combined. Sprinkle in the vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce.
  4. Add shredded butternut squash to the skillet and combine well with the beef. Cover with a fitted lid and cook for 4 minutes until the butternut squash is tender but not overcooked. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  5. Transfer to a large serving dish. Serve individual bowls topped with a dollop of Cilantro "Sour Cream" and Crispy Leeks.
  6. For the Crispy Leeks and Cilantro "Sour Cream": In a clean skillet, heat tallow over medium-high heat. Fry leeks for 4 to 5 minutes until browned and crispy.
  7. For the "Sour Cream", in a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth.


About Alaena Haber

Alaena Haber is the recipe creator and blabber, err… blogger, behind Grazed and Enthused, an Autoimmune Protocol diet and lifestyle blog. Alaena initially began blogging in 2014 to re-spark her passion for cooking while on the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol, which she uses to address Hashimoto’s and leaky gut symptoms. Enthused by her rapid health progression, she decided it was time to help others by devoting more (okay, all) of her spare time to the autoimmune community. Alaena has three requirements for her recipes: they must be creative, accessible, and make others excited about nutritional healing. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram where she shares both tiny and victorious moments in her healing journey.


    • Maria says

      This was fabulous! My husband and kids loved it, even my pickiest eater, who is not normally a fan of squash. I served theirs with rice and beans because they are not doing AIP.

      If you don’t have time to make the leeks and faux sour cream, just use a generous amount of freshly squeezed lime, green onions, and cilantro. I have made the whole recipe before, and it was fabulous, but today I ran out of time and it was still good with just the first part. Thank you for this wonderfully satisfying substitute for tacos!

  • […] Taco Beef & Butternut Rice with Cilantro “Sour Cream” from Autoimmune Wellness *Your next Taco Tuesday just got even more delicious! […]

  • Peggy says

    This was actually very delicious… although I don’t do coconut so I kinda did my own thing there.

  • Tiffany says

    My entire family loved this recipe! I couldn’t get the cilantro sour cream to get creamy, so everyone just spooned some over their taco meat, like a sauce. We had it over lotsa lettuce, with plantain chips (made with bacon grease) on the side. Adding this recipe to my AIP meal rotation. Thank you!

  • Mtljenny says

    This recipe is fantastic! I wasn’t able to try the “Sour Cream” because I have a coconut sensitivity but I bet it’s delish as well. Thank you!

  • Easy one dish skillet meal my whole family really liked, and it was a pleasure to make. I miss Taco meat, and this was super delicious! In fact, I am looking forward to the leftovers today for lunch!

  • Tiffany says

    I thought AIP doesn’t allow onion?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Onion is AIP elimination phase legal.

  • Emily says

    I just made this and it’s amazing! So packed with flavor! I used kabocha squash and omitted onions and garlic to make it low FODMAP, and added some garlic oil and a bit of mace. Excited to add this to my rotation!

  • Jolene Swistack says

    Is coconut cream just coconut? Because they also have cream of coconut…? The link brings me to coconut milk so I’m guessing that it’s just coconut milk? Thanks

  • Sarah Rushin says

    Tried this last night and enjoyed it again for lunch today. Lots of flavor and versatile as can do with greens or grain free cassava tortillas/chips, etc. Couldn’t get the “sour cream” to thicken but sauce was tasty anyhow. Will make this one again!

  • Tamara says

    Omg this was the best recipe I have had in ages!! I almost didn’t make the sour cream but it added a whole other dimension to the dish. But don’t add an extra clove of garlic … it was eye dripping, mouth burning deliciousness (mom didn’t like it, she hates spicy anything). I used chilled coconut milk from the fridge and worked perfectly. I also took a good bed of lettuce on the bottom and it was prefect. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Kris says

    Can the leftovers be frozen and reheated? This tastes really good!

    • Tamara says

      I freeze both the taco bowl and the sour cream and both are perfect, sour cream texture is a touch different but still tastes awesome 🙂

  • Heidi Baldini says

    What can I use besides beef tallow? Ghee?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Heidi – ghee is not elimination-phase compliant, but you could try a different solid cooking fat like duck fat or coconut oil. Hope it helps!

  • Kirsten says

    Our whole family loves this recipe, kids included. Instead of the sour cream I just serve it with guacamole and a sprinkling of diced cilantro and green onion. We eat it as a nacho topping with cassava “chips.”

  • Misty says

    Hey there, I am thinking of making this soon. I can not have fish sauce due to allergies so I was wondering about a substitute? I’m not sure at the flavor this is adding so I’m drawing a blank trying to guess. Thanks for any input.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Misty! The fish sauce is there for a little umami flavor – I have not tried this specifically, but I think you would be fine to leave it out if you are allergic.

  • […] Taco Beef & Butternut Rice with Cilantro “Sour Cream” […]

  • Angela says

    This looks tasty! Love this updated version that’s better for me.

  • Andrea Kishbaugh says

    I have made many recipes on the site and feel as if this could have more of a flavor profile. Next time I will increase the salt and garlic and see how it is. Loved the coconut sour cream! Allergy to cilantro so I used parsley but could have made it without.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Flavor is pretty individual, especially considering salt content! It is a great practice to always taste before giving a recipe any final salt, as many need to be adjusted.

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