A quick and easy dinner of Taco Pasta that is made in one pot! Cheesy macaroni with hamburger, salsa, corn and more to make this a hit at your dinner table. Your entire family will love this easy Tex-Mex recipe!
Are one-pot dinners the best or what? I mean, being able to toss all the ingredients in one pot, cook them, and then have dinner on the table in 30 minutes without a giant mess in the kitchen is my idea of cooking heaven.
This Taco Pasta has everything you love about tacos like ground beef, salsa, and cheese but it all cooks in one pot on the stove for easy clean-up. If you’re tired of regular old tacos for Taco Tuesday then you have to give this easy dinner recipe a try!
Why This Recipe Works:
- It’s full of flavor, but only requires 7 ingredients that are probably already in your pantry or refrigerator!
- It cooks in one pot which means less mess to clean up!
- Packed with flavor and ready in under 30 minutes means it’s every busy family’s dream dinner recipe.
If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious one pot recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
- Ground beef – We prefer beef for the flavor. Use a 90% lean ground beef for less grease. You could also use ground turkey or chicken.
- Salsa – Use a thick and chunky salsa. Control the heat of this dish by selecting either mild or hot.
- Tomato sauce
- Elbow macaroni – Feel free to substitute any pasta you have on hand that you need to use up. Try and use the same pasta and not mix shapes as they cook at different rates.
- Canned corn – Frozen corn can also be used, but it might add time to the recipe as it’s frozen and needs time to heat up.
- Cheddar cheese – For the ultimate melty cheese grab a block of cheese and grate it yourself!
Two Steps to Prepare Taco Pasta!
- Brown Beef – in a large pan, brown the beef over medium-high heat for five to seven minutes. Drain the grease once it’s cooked.
- Cook – add the salsa, tomato sauce, and water to the pan and bring it all to a boil. Add the macaroni and corn and simmer it for 20 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover the pan until the cheese is melted.
Not kidding, it’s that easy – seven ingredients, one pot, two steps and dinner is ready!
- Shredded Cheese
- Tortilla Strips
- Sliced black olives
- Diced Tomatoes
- Sour Cream
Can I use a different type of meat?
I prefer ground beef for this recipe because it cooks fast and is easy to eat with the pasta.
It’s better to go with a lean ground beef so your pasta isn’t greasy. If your beef is fattier you’ll want to drain off all of the excess grease before you add the liquids.
We love this with beef, but you could also substitute ground turkey!
Can I use a different kind of pasta?
One pot pastas can be tricky if you use a different pasta shape. Different pasta shapes have different cooking times, so if you use something other than macaroni it might not cook (or will overcook) in the time listed in the recipe.
If you use another type of pasta just watch the cook time and test it for doneness throughout the time!
Make it a Meal!
- Pair it with Restaurant Style Salsa and tortilla chips for a Mexican inspired meal!
- Roasted Vegetables round out any meal when you need an easy vegetable side dish.
- Toss a salad together or grab a salad kit to serve with this!
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- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 c. salsa
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
- 15.5 oz canned corn
- 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Brown hamburger in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Drain grease off.
- Add salsa, tomato sauce and water to hamburger in skillet. Heat to boiling. Add macaroni and corn, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir occasionally.
- When macaroni is cooked sprinkle with cheese, replace cover and let stand until cheese is melted.
Recipe adapted from: Betty Crocker