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 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 perfect 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 have to 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.

Should 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 Components

This recipe makes use of easy elements, however there’s loads of large, daring taste to go round. You may simply adapt the spices for youths, too, for a milder dish. Don’t neglect to scroll to the recipe card for the complete elements checklist and recipe particulars.

  • Pasta – I exploit rotini noodles, however you can also make this recipe with any dry pasta that you’ve got available. Different good choices are penne, rigatoni, shells, fusilli, or bowtie pasta. You may even use spaghetti!
  • Floor Beef – It’s also possible to make this pasta with floor rooster 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 extra 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.

The right way to Make Taco Pasta

Right here’s learn how to have your taco pasta sizzling 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 sizzling all through.
Close up overhead view of a large pan of taco pasta.

Ideas for Success

Under are some suggestions for the perfect taco pasta:

  • Use an oven-safe skillet. This recipe goes simply from the stovetop to the oven in the event you use the precise skillet. Make sure that the pan you’re utilizing is oven-safe, like a forged iron or stainless-steel skillet or related.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Cheese that’s grated recent from the block has the perfect 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 a bit of 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 technique to change up this recipe? Similar to a standard 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 rooster or floor turkey in the event 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 change 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 possibly can’t go improper with a basic 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 may 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 simple (virtually) one-pan dinner! Full of 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 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 in keeping with 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 by means of, 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 elements evenly.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain it effectively 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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