Taco pasta is a quick and easy, delicious pasta recipe with a Mexican twist. Loaded with deliciously seasoned ground beef, pasta shells, cheese and more, this hearty taco pasta recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe that can be on the table in no time.
Living in Texas, Mexican food is a huge part of my family’s life. Texas is all about its tex mex food, especially tacos, street tacos, brisket tacos, and fajitas. The thing is… even if you really love something, it can start to get old after a while. How many different ways can you make tacos? Or anything, for that matter.
This taco pasta has all the flavor of tacos (minus the lettuce and tomatoes), and adds a delicious twist by replacing the tortilla shells with pasta. Loaded with all the great flavors we love on our taco nights but made into a hearty, cheesy, simple pasta dinner recipe.
My family loves it so much, in fact, that I’ve now moved on to bringing the dish to summer parties and potlucks. Everyone is always more than happy to sit down with a great big scoop of this delicious dish and devour it. They always ask for seconds, and lately, I’ve actually started bringing more than one pan just to be sure everyone gets as much of it as they want.
Taco Pasta Recipe
This taco pasta is filled to capacity with delicious taco goodness. Ground beef, onions, jalapenos, salsa, corn, green chilies, and cheese all come together to create the ultimate tex-mex delight any time you’re craving tacos. The best thing is that it’s so simple and fast to make, and using the pasta makes an interesting change from taco shells. It’s definitely easier to eat!
This easy recipe is one of those dishes that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it once you’ve given it a try. It’s super easy to make and a simple dinner recipe everyone will enjoy.
This is a straightforward recipe that comes together easily. It’s mostly a matter of cooking the beef, onions and jalapenos, and then mixing everything in. In fact, it’s so simple, there’s almost no way that you could go wrong. That being said, I have some tips for this recipe to ensure that you get the best possible taco pasta possible – and one tip to save you some major discomfort!
Small Dices Work Best
Dicing the onion and jalapeno into smaller pieces works best for this recipe. Because it uses pasta, everything about this recipe is bite sized. Dicing your onions and jalapenos into smaller pieces ensures that you get a little bit in every single bite.
Protect Your Skin and Eyes
I recommend wearing gloves when working with jalapenos. The juice can be irritating to the skin, and if you forget and rub your eyes, you’re going to be in a world of hurt. Wear gloves as you seed and dice or slice your jalapenos, carefully discard them when done, and then thoroughly wash your hands. Be sure NOT to touch your eyes.
One of the great things about this taco pasta is how easy it is to switch things up. You can add all kinds of delicious southwestern ingredients to this dish, picking and choosing what you do and don’t want to put in it to truly make it your own. It’s such a versatile dish that you can keep things fresh and interesting no matter how many times you’ve made it.
Change the Meat
I love to use lean ground beef to keep that great flavor and reduce the fat, but if you want to go even leaner, you can use ground chicken or turkey for a lighter version.
Adjust the Heat
If you don’t like a lot of heat, feel free to reduce or eliminate the amount of Slap Ya Mama seasoning and jalapenos you use in this recipe. Conversely, if you’re a big fan of heat, crank it up with even more diced jalapenos.
Try Different Noodles
I love to use shells when I make this taco pasta. I just like the way they tend to cradle the ingredients. You can use whatever kind of short pasta you like, though. Macaroni would work well, as would penne or other short noodles. You decide what you love the most!
Add Other Tex-Mex Ingredients
Feel free to add other delicious taco and tex-mex ingredients to this recipe, as well. Black beans would be delicious in this recipe. Topping it with some avocado would also be tasty.
Serving Taco Pasta
This delicious taco pasta is a complete meal in and of itself. To serve, simply spoon it out into a bowl, top with sour cream, and you’re good to go. For a little extra kick, you can top it with sliced jalapenos, as well. For a cooler topping, try some avocado slices.
Storing Taco Pasta
This taco pasta will keep well in the refrigerator for up to four days in an air-tight container. For longer storage, you can freeze this dish for up to a month in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags. To defrost, simply place the container in the refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight, then heat it up in the stove or microwave. A little liquid might need to be added when reheating.
Give This Taco Pasta a Try
If you love pasta recipes, you’re going to love this taco pasta. It’s a great twist on an old favorite that’s overflowing with all the delicious flavors we love in our traditional tacos. Play around with the recipe, adding what you want and taking out what you don’t. Almost anything goes with this recipe. Give it a try, and I know you and your family will love it.
Taco Pasta Ingredients
- Lean ground beef
- Garlic salt
- Slap Ya Mama® seasoning
- Black pepper
- Taco seasoning
- Beef broth
- Diced green chilies
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Medium pasta shells
How to Make Taco Pasta
Step 1 – Prep
In a large frying pan or skillet, add ground beef, onions, and jalapenos and cook over medium heat. Add in garlic salt, Slap Ya Mama®, and pepper. Stir and cook until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are translucent. Drain grease and return to pan. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and set aside.
Step 2 – Mixing it All Together
Sprinkle taco seasoning over meat, stir and pour beef broth into pan. Cook until liquid is almost absorbed. Add corn, Rotel®, diced chilies, milk, and salsa to meat mixture and stir. Cook for 15 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly. Place pasta back in pot, pour meat mixture and shredded cheese into pot. Stir to combine and serve once cheese has melted.
Try This Delicious Taco Pasta Today
Here are a few more delicious pasta recipes that you might enjoy:
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, stem and seeds removed.
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama® seasoning
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup taco seasoning
- ¾ cup beef broth
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup salsa
- 15 ounce corn, drained
- 10 ounce Rotel® drained
- 4 ounce diced green chilies
- 8 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 16 ounce pasta shells, medium
- In a large frying pan or skillet, add ground beef, onions and jalapeños.
- Cook over medium heat, add garlic salt, Slap Ya Mama® and pepper. Stir and cook until meat is no longer pink and onions and jalapeños are tender. Drain and return to pan.
- While meat is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and set aside.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over meat, stir and pour beef broth into pan. Cook until liquid is almost absorbed.
- Add corn, Rotel®, diced chilies, milk and salsa to meat mixture. Stir.
- Continue cooking for 15 minutes or until meat mixture is hot and bubbly.
- Return pasta back to pot, pour meat mixture and cheese over pasta. Stir to combine and then serve once cheese has melted.