This one pot cheesy taco pasta is a hearty and flavorful pasta recipe packed with deliciously seasoned ground beef, cheese, corn, black beans, elbow macaroni, and more. A quick and easy weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Recipes like this one have always been a go-to for me. When my kids lived at home, I needed recipes that would feed an army of ravenous teenagers – their friends were over a lot – and also be easy on me. Pasta skillets like this have always fit that bill perfectly. I’ve been making this particular pasta skillet for a long time, and it’s one that no one in the family has ever gotten tired of. With all that beef and cheese, it’s no wonder that this one is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s one of those easy dinner recipes or can be a delicious addition to any potluck or party. It’s one of those recipes that’s perfectly at home in almost any gathering.
Cheesy Taco Pasta
This recipe has two things going for it. It’s easy, and it’s delicious. I mean, it doesn’t get better than that. You only need one skillet to make it, and when you’re all done, you’ll have a dish loaded with the Tex-Mex flavors everyone loves. It starts with simple elbow noodles. Then we mix ground beef, onions, taco seasoning, and Cajun seasoning to make a meaty base with a kick of heat and flavor. It’s finished off with black beans, Rotel, and enchilada sauce to create a dish that always hits the spot. It’s sweet, spicy, beefy, and taco-licious – all at the same time!
Why You’ll Love This One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
- It’s a simple recipe that’s loaded with flavor.
- It’s a hearty dish full of ground beef that leaves you full and satisfied.
- The leftovers are just as good from the first bite to the last!
Cheesy Taco Pasta Tips and Variations
This is an easy recipe, but I have a few tips to help make it even better and easier. I also have some fun variations that you can try to make it your own.
- Be sure you don’t overcook your pasta. If you make it too soft, it’ll break apart when you make the dish.
- Remember to drain your beef before continuing the recipe. The last thing you want is a greasy meal.
- If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can make this in a large pot like a Dutch oven.
- Use any variety of short noodles for this recipe.
- For a mild version, omit the red pepper flakes.
- Use ground turkey in place of ground beef.
- Use your own homemade taco seasoning to give it your own flavor.
- Any cheese like Mexican blend, asiago, or other robustly-flavored cheese will work well in this recipe.
Cheesy Taco Pasta Topping Ideas
Top this taco pasta with anything you’d normally put on your tacos. It’s basically just a taco with noodles, so everything works!
- Sour cream
- Taco sauce
- Pico de Gallo
Cheesy Taco Pasta FAQ
The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about this absolutely delicious one pot dish.
What is taco pasta?
Taco pasta is basically the insides of a taco mixed with noodles. It features beef, taco seasoning, cheese, and the like. It was first made popular as a Hamburger Helper flavor, and now people simply make their own varieties.
What is the best pasta to use for taco pasta?
Almost any short pasta will work. Short is the key. This is not the recipe for spaghetti. Short noodles like macaroni, shells, penne, and the like are all excellent choices.
How do you cook pasta al dente?
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. About two minutes before the allotted time on the box, give the pasta a bite. If it’s tender enough to chew but still has a bit of bite, it’s al dente.
How long is taco pasta good for in the fridge?
This taco pasta will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Can you freeze taco pasta?
Yes. This freezes very well. Simply place the taco past in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Storage and Reheating
Store your leftover taco pasta in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze it in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.
To reheat this dish, place it in a baking dish, add a bit of water, and cover it tightly with foil. Then bake for about 20 minutes at 325 degrees until heating through. For a quicker reheat, place a serving in a microwave safe dish and let cook for 1:30 – 2 minutes or until desired temperature is reached.
Cheesy Taco Pasta Ingredients
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you’ll find easily at your local grocery store. You’ve bought them all at one point or another.
- Lean ground beef
- Onion, diced
- Taco seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Slap Ya Mama
- Red pepper flakes
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- Black beans, rinsed and drained
- Elbow noodles
- Red enchilada sauce
- American cheese, shredded
- Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Sour cream
How to Make Cheesy Taco Pasta
Making this dish is just as easy as shopping for the ingredients. It’s all done in one skillet, and you’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time!
Step 1: Cook the Pasta
Using a Dutch oven, bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Then, drain it and set it aside.
Step 2: Cook the Beef and Onions
Cook the ground beef and saute onions in a Dutch oven until the beef is fully cooked and the onions are tender. Drain the grease and place back into the pan. Add the taco seasoning to the beef, add water, and stir to combine. Then, let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the Sauce Ingredients
Add the remaining seasonings, corn, black beans, Rotel, and enchilada sauce. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Finish the Taco Pasta
Add the shredded cheese and sour cream, stir to combine. Next, add the pasta and stir until fully incorporated. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Try This Delicious Taco Pasta Recipe Today
If you love tacos, then you’re going to love this recipe. It’s so simple to make, and it has all the flavors we love in a taco. inspired by the original Hamburger Helper version, this recipe is beefy, cheesy, and chock-full of flavor. Make it once, and I know you’ll be making it for the rest of your life. It’s that good!
More Pasta Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Cheesy Salsa Verde Taco Pasta – Here is another variation of taco pasta, but this is made with ground beef and chile verde sauce. It’s absolutely delicious.
Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad – A super delicious pasta salad made with rotisserie chicken, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and tender macaroni noodles. It’s a great pasta salad that is loaded with a kick of southwest flavors.
Instant Pot Cheesy Enchilada Pasta – This is another amazing pasta recipe that has all of the flavors of hearty enchiladas in a pasta form. It’s a great meal to whip up for a quick dinner.
Also, try this version of Taco Pasta from Deliciously Seasoned. It’s made with a variety of different ingredients, but is still loaded with so much delicious flavor!
Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- ¼ cup taco seasoning
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 15 ounce can corn, drained
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 10 ounce can Rotel®
- 8 ounce elbow noodles
- 15 ounce can red enchilada sauce
- 1 cup American cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup sour cream
- In a Dutch oven, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pan, cook ground beef and onions until beef is thoroughly cooked and onions are tender. Drain grease and place back into the pan.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over the meat mixture and then add water. Stir to combine and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining seasonings, corn, black beans, Rotel, and enchilada sauce. Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cheese and sour cream. Stir to combine. Next, add the pasta and stir until fully incorporated.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
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