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Taco Pasta | Cookies and Cups

Tacky taco pasta is such a straightforward household dinner! Crammed with juicy floor beef, salsa, and loads of Tex-Mex seasoning, it’s a 30-minute recipe good for weeknights.

This dinner concept combines two of our family favorites: tacos and creamy pasta! For one more enjoyable Italian-Mexican spin, do that tacky burrito lasagna.

Overhead view of taco pasta in a white bowl with a fork.

Why You’ll Love This Taco Pasta Recipe

We love dinnertime mash-ups like taco pizza and taco burgers. This time, prepare for creamy, tacky, satisfying taco pasta! This taco pasta is the most effective form of weeknight dinner (as in, the entire household goes loopy for it), right here’s why:

  • Stuffed with daring taste. Taco pasta is a hearty and healthful meal that’s tremendous satisfying! It’s like a Tex-Mex model of my creamy beef pasta, crammed with punchy, Southwestern flavors of cumin, cayenne, and chili powder.
  • Cooked (nearly) in a single pan. This pasta dinner combines tender rotini noodles, juicy floor beef, tomatoes, plus different Tex-Mex staples like corn, black beans, salsa, and spices, all in the identical skillet. You simply must boil the pasta individually.
  • Prepared in half-hour. We’ve all felt the crunch of a busy weeknight, and pasta recipes are a few of my go-to household dinners. This taco pasta comes collectively in a snap and at all times hits the spot.

If you happen to’re a fan of simple skillet dinners like my skillet taco rice and skillet tamale pie, then this nearly one-pan pasta is correct up your alley.

The ingredients for taco pasta with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Taco Pasta Components

This recipe makes use of easy substances, however there’s loads of large, daring taste to go round. You’ll be able to simply adapt the spices for teenagers, too, for a milder dish. Don’t neglect to scroll to the recipe card for the total substances listing and recipe particulars.

  • Pasta – I exploit rotini noodles, however you can also make this recipe with any dry pasta that you’ve available. Different good choices are penne, rigatoni, shells, fusilli, or bowtie pasta. You might even use spaghetti!
  • Floor Beef – You can too make this pasta with floor rooster or turkey.
  • Tomatoes – Canned crushed tomatoes work completely right here. You can too use diced tomatoes.
  • Salsa – Select your favourite ready salsa from the shop, both gentle or spicy relying on what you like.
  • Seasoning – You’ll want a packet of taco seasoning, plus further cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Corn and Black Beans – The canned type. Don’t neglect to empty and rinse them first.
  • Cheese – Grated cheddar cheese, or one other melty cheese like Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican cheese mix.

Learn how to Make Taco Pasta

Right here’s how you can have your taco pasta scorching and on the desk in just some simple steps:

  • Brown the meat. Begin by sautéing floor beef in an oven-safe skillet. You are able to do this whereas your pasta boils al dente in a separate pot.
  • Mix. As soon as your beef is cooked, decrease the warmth and stir in crushed tomatoes, salsa, taco seasoning, and different spices. Lastly, add the corn and black beans.
  • Add the pasta. Drain your cooked pasta noodles, then add them to the sauce and toss to coat.
  • Bake. Sprinkle over shredded cheese and switch the skillet to a 400ºF oven. Bake for 10-Quarter-hour, till the cheese is melted and your taco pasta is scorching all through.
Close up overhead view of a large pan of taco pasta.

Suggestions for Success

Under are some suggestions for the most effective taco pasta:

  • Use an oven-safe skillet. This recipe goes simply from the stovetop to the oven should you use the best skillet. Be certain that the pan you’re utilizing is oven-safe, like a forged iron or chrome steel skillet or related.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Cheese that’s grated recent from the block has the most effective melty consistency.
  • Prepare dinner the pasta al dente. In Italian, al dente means pasta that’s nonetheless agency when bitten. Comply with the cooking instructions on the field, and do your finest to not over-boil the pasta earlier than combining it with the sauce (particularly because it bakes within the oven afterward, we don’t need it to be mushy!).
  • In case your taco pasta appears to be like somewhat dry, stir in a little bit of water as wanted, to assist loosen up the sauce.
Close up of a wooden spoon stuck into a pan of cheesy taco pasta.

Simple Variations

On the lookout for a enjoyable strategy to change up this recipe? Identical to a conventional taco, there’s a great deal of potential to make this pasta your personal. Attempt these concepts:

  • Totally different protein. As talked about, you can also make this recipe with one other sort of meat, like floor rooster or floor turkey should you’d desire. Leftover cooked shredded chicken or pork carnitas are additionally tasty choices, simply stir them in whenever you add the pasta.
  • Extra veggies. Bulk up this taco pasta recipe with chopped onions, bell peppers, or jalapeños.
  • Vegetarian. For a vegetarian taco pasta, omit the bottom beef and substitute it with an additional can of black beans or one other selection, like pinto beans. Cooked lentils or meatless mince would additionally work.
  • Creamy. To make a creamy taco pasta, simply earlier than baking, take the skillet off the warmth and stir in bitter cream or heavy cream. Afterward, prime with cheese and bake as directed.
Taco pasta in a white bowl next to a fork, with a glass of ice water and a skillet of taco pasta in the background.

What to Serve With Taco Pasta

We love serving our bowls of taco pasta topped with taco toppings like guacamole (or avocado salsa) and a dollop of bitter cream. A sprinkle of recent cilantro and a squeeze of recent lime juice additionally go a good distance in brightening the flavors of this dish! Begin your meal with Tex-Mex-inspired appetizers like chicken flautas and chicken nacho dip, and pair this taco pasta with a crunchy Southwestern Cobb salad. After all, you’ll be able to’t go improper with a traditional facet of crusty French bread or garlic pull-apart bread for sopping up the additional sauce.

Close up of taco pasta in a white bowl with a fork.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Fridge. Refrigerate leftover taco pasta in an hermetic container for as much as 3 days. To reheat, heat the pasta in a skillet on the stovetop or within the microwave. 
  • Freeze. You’ll be able to freeze this pasta in a freezer-safe container for as much as 2-3 months. Defrost within the fridge in a single day earlier than reheating.

Extra Simple Pasta Recipes


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This tacky taco pasta is a straightforward (nearly) one-pan dinner! Crammed with juicy floor beef, salsa, and loads of Tex-Mex taste, it’s a 30-minute recipe good for weeknights.

  • 1 pound Rotini pasta
  • 1 pound lean floor beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can entire kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Boil the pasta based on bundle instructions.
  3. Whereas the pasta is boiling brown the bottom beef over medium-high warmth in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet till no pink stays. As soon as the meat is cooked via, drain any extra fats from the skillet. Scale back the warmth to medium and add within the crushed tomatoes, salsa, taco seasoning, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Stir the combination to mix the seasoning after which add within the corn and black beans and stir once more to include substances evenly.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain it nicely utilizing a colander and add it rigorously into the meat combination. Stir this so it’s mixed evenly.
  5. High the pasta combination with the grated cheese and place within the oven for 10-Quarter-hour, till the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve instantly.


Retailer leftovers hermetic within the fridge for as much as 3 days.

Key phrases: taco pasta, taco pasta recipe, tacky taco pasta

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