Taco Pasta is a quick and easy dinner recipe 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 taco macaroni recipe!
Taco Pasta in One Pot!
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. With all the back-to-school craziness this fall I am leaning heavily on my one-pot recipes like this Taco Pasta! It’s got 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 One Pot Taco Pasta a try!
I think my family could eat pasta every night of the week! I have enough pasta recipes to probably do that, too, but my mom instincts tell me to switch things up sometimes – variety is a good thing! If your family loves pasta, too, you know what I mean. If I made this Taco Pasta, One Pot Skillet Spaghetti and Pizza Pasta every week my family would not complain.
I used to be afraid of one pot pasta recipes – I just wasn’t sure how the pasta would cook properly. Would it be weird? Would it not be tender? Not boiling the pasta in a separate pot just seemed so wrong to me! But I was so wrong because it totally works. Once the beef is browned you add all the other ingredients bring it to a boil and just pour the uncooked pasta in the pot. The pasta ends up tender and delicious because it’s absorbed all of the other flavors from the dish. Dinner is ready in 30 minutes and you only have one pot to wash. It’s a busy mom’s dream, right?
If you’re ready for low-maintenance easy dinner this Taco Pasta has your name on it!
What goes in Taco Pasta?
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 Taco Pasta recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
- ground beef
- tomato sauce
- elbow macaroni
- canned corn
- cheddar cheese
How to make 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!
Tools needed to make Taco Pasta!
- large pan or skillet
- liquid measuring cup
- spatula or large spoon
What kind of beef is best for pasta?
I prefer ground beef for this Taco Pasta because it cooks fast and is easy to eat with the pasta. Of course, most cuts of beef go well with pasta but for a quick 30 minute one pot dinner ground beef is best. It’s better to go with a lean ground beef so your Taco 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 Taco Pasta with beef, but you could also substitute ground turkey!
What goes with Taco Pasta?
If you want a vegetable side for you Taco Pasta you might like Skillet Asparagus, Roasted Cauliflower or Lemon Asparagus. Or, if you’re doing a Taco Tuesday theme, add some chips and Homemade Salsa on the side or some Guacamole! You can’t go wrong with just a simple salad with greens and veggies with a dressing made with Homemade Ranch Seasoning.
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. I’ve tested this recipe multiple times so I know it works with macaroni. If you try a different pasta shape with success please let us know in the comments!
Tender pasta with hamburger, salsa and cheese – this is a hearty, comforting dinner that’s perfect for busy weeknights. I know your family is going to love this Taco Pasta! Once you try it be sure to check out some of our other dinner ideas. I hope you find some new favorites!
More Mexican Inspired Dinners!
One Pot Meals!
- One Pot Skillet Spaghetti
- One Pot Pizza Pasta
- One Pot Ham & Penne Skillet
- One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
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Taco Pasta Recipe
- 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.
What kind of beef is best for pasta?I prefer ground beef for this Taco Pasta because it cooks fast and is easy to eat with the pasta. Of course, most cuts of beef go well with pasta but for a quick 30 minute one pot dinner ground beef is best. It's better to go with a lean ground beef so your Taco 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 Taco Pasta 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. I've tested this recipe multiple times so I know it works with macaroni.
Recipe adapted from: Betty Crocker