This easy taco pasta is made with ground beef, tomatoes, and plenty of cheese, all tossed in a creamy sauce. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings for a quick and family friendly dinner option!
Tacos are always a hit with both kids and adults. This taco pasta is a unique way to get your taco fix with minimal work.
Creamy, cheesy taco pasta is one of my girls’ most requested recipes. I’m always happy to oblige because it’s a hearty meal and only takes about 20 minutes to whip up, perfect for a busy night! The best part of this recipe is you can add as many toppings as you like to really get that loaded taco experience, but in pasta form.
How do you make taco pasta?
To make taco pasta, you’ll need ground beef, onions, pasta, tomatoes, cream cheese and sour cream. The first steps is to cook the ground beef with onions, tomatoes and taco seasoning to form the base of this recipe.
After your meat mixture is done, cooked pasta goes into the pan. I used rotini but any short pasta will work, such as penne, shells or macaroni. I cook my pasta at the same time as I make my meat to save on time.
The next step is to make the sauce, which is a combination of cream cheese, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Be sure to save some water from cooking the pasta in case you need to thin the sauce.
Finally, it’s time for the toppings! I went simple here with a sprinkling of fresh tomatoes and cilantro, but other great topping ideas include
- sour cream
- tortilla strips
- sliced jalapenos
- shredded cheese
What kind of ground beef is best for pasta?
I typically use 90% lean ground beef. It’s flavorful, yet not overly greasy. If you use ground beef with a higher fat content, be sure to drain off any excess grease before you add the pasta to the pan. Looking to save a few calories? Ground turkey or ground chicken can also be used in this dish.
More Mexican inspired meals
- 8 ounces rotini pasta or other short pasta
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes drained
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Additional taco toppings if desired such as tortilla strips, olives, avocado and jalapenos
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the beef.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and break up with a spatula.
- Add the onion to the pan.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes or until meat is browned and cooked through, and onion is tender.
- Add the tomatoes and taco seasoning to the pan and stir to combine.
- Pour the cooked pasta into the pan with the meat. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the cream cheese, sour cream and cheddar cheese to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly until cheese are melted.
- Add reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
- Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro and serve. Add additional taco toppings if desired.
This is one of our favorites! The 2yo is currently dipping his noodles in a sour cream/salsa mixture and is eating it all up! We used chickpea pasta and the flavors of the dish really hid the fact that they weren’t regular noodles.