Taco Pasta!! Now that’s a taco lover’s sweet dream. All your favorite taco flavors get cheesy and creamy, mixed in with any type of your preferred pasta, and Taco Pasta happens. How cool!!
Believe me, this dish is hands down irresistible. It has bold homemade taco seasoning that’s needed for the zest in the creamy, cheesy pasta sauce. Make this Tex-Mex style pasta tonight for that major comfort food fix.
It’s an easy 30 minute quick pasta dinner with a Mexican twist. Time to cook new flavors tonight. This easy Mexican Pasta… Taco Pasta!
Who doesn’t like some delicious pasta any time, any day of the year?
My husband salivates with just the thought of any Italian meal with pasta in it. Be his all time favorite Spaghetti with Meat Sauce or Creamy Sausage Pasta or good old Johnny Marzetti. It’s all good when that pasta comes to the table.
Todays pasta is very unique, though it may remind you of one meal that you grew up on, Hamburger Helper. It’s just gets more creamy, more tasty and more cheesy, along with a good dose of veggie power.
This Creamy Taco Pasta is a Huge Hit, Cos
- New delicious taco flavors in a creamy and cheesy pasta. Two favorite dinner meals in one: Taco+Pasta = Hit dinner combo!
- It’s an easy weeknight meal idea that can be on table in about 30 minutes.
- Taco pasta is an all ages friendly complete meal for the whole family, liked by kids and adults alike.
- It can feed a crowd, as it’s bulked up by the pasta, making it budget friendly and economical.
- Great for meal prep, as leftovers taste great, and that means you can cook this in bulk.
- It can be customizable to any kind of ground meat on hand, and can be boosted up with additional veggie power and other great variations.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Making your own taco seasoning is so simple, and can be done in minutes. It’s a secret for the delicious taco meat that is the base of this taco pasta.
We swear by our simple Taco Seasoning recipe, which we use in so many of our recipes. All you need is a few simple ingredients, which you probably already have in your pantry:
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Red chili flakes
Just measure everything according to the amounts in the recipe card, mix it up, and you are all set for some great taco pasta.
Cheesy Taco Pasta Ingredients
- Ground Beef – You can make this taco pasta with any kind of ground meat on hand, but we typically use 85/15 ground beef.
- Veggies and aromatics – Onion, bell peppers (use different colored peppers for color), sweet corn (we use frozen), Rotel tomatoes, garlic.
- Taco seasoning – See above.
- For sauce – Heavy cream, beef broth, cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
- Pasta – Any of your favorite pasta shape would work here. Use shapes that can hold the sauce well like rotini, shells, or elbow macaroni.
- Olive oil – Or any other cooking oil.
- Salt – To taste.
- Cilantro – For garnish.
Ground Beef Taco Pasta Recipe
1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Brown the meat: While the pasta is cooking, make the taco pasta sauce. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and sauté till no longer pink. Add in diced onion, bell peppers, corn and garlic, and sauté till veggies starts to soften. Add in taco seasoning and Rotel, tomatoes and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes. While its cooking, you can check out our collection of favorite Ground Beef Recipes.
3. Make taco pasta sauce: Create a space in the middle by pushing meat mixture to the edges of the pan, and add in beef broth, heavy cream, soften cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
Swirl it all together, cooking till you have a smooth and creamy sauce. Mix the taco meat mixture with the sauce and combine well. Taste and season with salt to taste.
4. Finish the taco pasta: Add in cooked pasta and combine well with the taco mixture.
Cook for 5 minutes till all the flavors mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
Taco Pasta Flavor Variations:
Swap the meat: Swap the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken for a lower fat option. Using ground beef and ground pork is a good combo for this pasta too. I can see the same recipe great with ground sausage, too.
Add different types of tomatoes: You can just use regular diced tomatoes instead of Rotel. Experiment with any salsa, or even enchilada sauce, in place of tomatoes for a different flavor profile.
Add in extra flavors: You can add black beans and other veggies like mushrooms, peas, black olives or pickled jalapeños to the mix.
Play with the sauce: You can change the creamy, saucy profile by playing with creams and cheeses. You can use just cream and cheddar cheese, skipping the cream cheese. Or you can skip the cream and just make it with cream cheese, or even sour cream. You can even skip the creamy factor totally, and only add cheddar cheese to the meat sauce. Monterey Jack and mozzarella are great substitutions for cheddar cheese.
Add toppings: You can serve this pasta with extra topping like diced scallions, fresh salsa, fresh diced tomatoes, sliced avocados, or a dollop of sour cream.
Taco Pasta Tips
- Cook the pasta al dente, as it will finish cooking when mixed with taco meat sauce.
- If you don’t have Rotel tomatoes and still want a little heat, simply use diced canned tomatoes and add a jalapeño to the mix.
- What kind of ground beef? We like 85/15 (ground round) for this pasta. It gives a lot of flavor to the dish. You can always drain the excess fat as much as you desire, though we recommend leaving a little behind for the flavor.
- Use block cheddar cheese, and shred it fresh.
Leftovers and Storage
Refrigerate: Leftover taco pasta is great for 3-4 days in an airtight container in your fridge.
Reheat: You can warm it in a saucepan slowly and over low heat for best results. Add in a splash of cream if it dries out. Alternately, you can also warm it up in the microwave.
We don’t recommend freezing this taco pasta. Cheesy sauces don’t do well in the freezer.
In our home, I can’t live without tacos, and Jason’s eyes light up at the thought of pasta. So this Taco Pasta dinner is our dream come true for any night.
Try our version of taco pasta, and see how beautifully cheesy and creamy it turns out, full of all the taco flavors. Tex-Mex flavors in your pasta is the new sensation you can create in your kitchen. Go the taco way… Taco Pasta way. You will love it.
Taco Pasta, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 to 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper. diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup sweet corn, frozen
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
- Taco Seasoning (see note 1)
- 1 10oz can Rotel tomatoes (see note 2)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8oz pasta of your choice
- salt to taste
- cilantro to garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the taco pasta sauce. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and sauté till no longer pink. Add in diced onion, bell peppers, corn and garlic, and sauté till veggies start to soften.
- Add in taco seasoning and rotel tomatoes, and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Create a space in the middle by pushing meat mixture to the edges of the pan. Add beef broth, heavy cream, softened cream cheese and cheddar cheese to the center. Mix well until it becomes a smooth and creamy sauce. Mix in the taco meat mixture with the sauce and combine well. Taste and season with salt to taste.
- Add in cooked pasta and combine well with the meat sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, till all flavors mix well.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.
- Taco Seasoning:
1 Tbsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika (we use smoked)
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
- Mix ingredients in a bowl and use all for this recipe.
- You can use diced tomatoes instead of rotel.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.