Taco Pasta | Cookies and Cups

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

This dinner thought combines two of our family favorites: tacos and creamy pasta! For an additional enjoyable Italian-Mexican spin, do this 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 one of the best 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, stuffed with punchy, Southwestern flavors of cumin, cayenne, and chili powder.
  • Cooked (virtually) 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.

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

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

Taco Pasta Elements

This recipe makes use of easy substances, however there’s loads of huge, daring taste to go round. You possibly can simply adapt the spices for teenagers, too, for a milder dish. Don’t neglect to scroll to the recipe card for the total substances checklist 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 could possibly even use spaghetti!
  • Floor Beef – It’s also possible to make this pasta with floor hen or turkey.
  • Tomatoes – Canned crushed tomatoes work completely right here. It’s also possible to 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 form. 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.

How one can Make Taco Pasta

Right here’s how one can have your taco pasta scorching and on the desk in only a few 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 ideas for one of the best taco pasta:

  • Use an oven-safe skillet. This recipe goes simply from the stovetop to the oven if you happen to use the best skillet. Make sure 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 contemporary from the block has one of the best melty consistency.
  • Cook 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 slightly 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.

Straightforward Variations

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

  • Completely different protein. As talked about, you can also make this recipe with one other kind of meat, like floor hen or floor turkey if you happen to’d want. Leftover cooked shredded chicken or pork carnitas are additionally tasty choices, simply stir them in while 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, high 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 contemporary cilantro and a squeeze of contemporary lime juice additionally go a great 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 possibly can’t go fallacious with a traditional aspect 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 possibly can 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 Straightforward Pasta Recipes


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This tacky taco pasta is a simple (virtually) one-pan dinner! Full of juicy floor beef, salsa, and loads of Tex-Mex taste, it’s a 30-minute recipe excellent 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 complete 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. Cut 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 properly utilizing a colander and add it fastidiously 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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