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Cheesy Taco Pasta is a delicious step up from boxed dinners! This quick and easy dinner is made with cheddar cheese, ground beef, taco seasoning, your favorite salsa and tossed with noodles. Dinner is ready in just 15 minutes and its full of flavor the whole family will love. Serve along side my Cowboy Caviar or Classic Guacamole and tortilla chips.
A Few Notes About the Ingredients I Used
Easy, fast, and delicious with a capital D! Cheesy southwest goodness on your fork. Yes, please! You can totally tweak this recipe to your liking. Here is what I prefer to use:
- Ground Beef – I used 80/20. If you’d like to make this recipe even healthier, opt for ground turkey instead of ground beef!
- Taco Seasoning – either use store-bought or use homemade taco seasoning.
- Southwest Salsa – use whatever brand you like best. Also if you like things spicy, get a spicier salsa! Don’t be afraid to change this pasta recipe to your liking.
- Pasta – I used a corkscrew pasta but feel free to use what you have on hand (pasta, bowtie, macaroni). I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti or fettucini noodles though!
- Cheddar Cheese – freshly grate your cheese for best results! Feel free to use less or more cheese as well!
- Cream – this can be whole milk, heavy cream, or half & half.
How to Make Taco Pasta
Cheesy Taco Pasta is incredibly easy to make which only adds to its charm! Simply cook your pasta and while the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce! Once the pasta is finished, throw together the sauce and top with cheese and cream. SO GOOD! For full details see the recipe card below.
Bring water to a boil then cook the pasta until al dente (look at the packaging for cook times).
Make the Meat Sauce
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet cook ground beef. Once cooked, drain the meat in a colander and run under hot water to get rid of extra fat. Replace the beef into the wiped out pan with taco seasoning, salsa, and water. Simmer until the pasta is done.
Drain Pasta + Combine with Sauce
Drain pasta and add to the ground beef mixture. Toss to coat, then top with cheese, cream, salt, and pepper. Stir to melt cheese, then serve immediately.
Here are a couple of great ideas to top your taco pasta with (totally optional):
- sour cream
- sliced avocado
- diced tomatoes
- tortilla strip chips
- sliced jalapenos
Leftovers + Storage
Any leftovers you have can be enjoyed for up to 5 days! Be sure to store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Can I freeze Cheesy Taco Pasta?
Yes! Not only is this meal delicious and kid-friendly, but it also freezes like a dream! Be sure to allow to cool completely to room temperature before placing it in the freezer. Store in an airtight freezer safe container. Taco Pasta will stay fresh in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Love Cheesy Taco Pasta? More Taco Recipes to Try!
Be sure to check out all my other taco recipes. Here are a couple of highlights:
You all are going to love this Taco Pasta Recipe! Printable recipe card is below. Enjoy, friends!:)
Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 1 lb ground beef I used 80/20
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups southwest salsa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 lb pasta I used rotini
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 1/4 cup cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- Bring water to boil to cook the pasta. Salt it and cook pasta until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking apart as you go. Once thoroughly cooked, drain meat and run under hot water to remove any fat. Wipe out pan with paper towel and place back on heat. Pour cooked beef into hot pan with taco seasoning, salsa and water. Simmer until pasta is finished cooking.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain well and pour into skillet. Top with cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and noodles are coated in sauce. Serve immediately.