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Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake

Spice up your Taco Tuesday with this Creamy Taco Pasta Bake. A simple sauce made with ground beef, taco seasoning and a few simple add-ins is combined with your favorite small pasta shape with cheddar and Montery Jack cheese for an easy weeknight dinner.


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Like my Baked Ravioli Alfredo recipe, this is another easy family-friendly dinner that is a tried and true recipe, budget friendly and so quick and easy to make and the ultimate comfort food.

This easy dinner recipe is satisfying, with delicious Mexican flavors similar to our family favorite walking taco casserole recipe. The kids love both of these recipes and they’re so easy to reheat the next day.

If you’re craving more easy pasta recipes, Gigi Hadid Pasta Recipe is a must-try and you can easily make it with or without vodka! This viral recipe is a family fave!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe comes together quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.
  • Tasty Taco Tuesday: If you love tacos, you’ll love this cheesy taco pasta. It has all the flavors of a taco in pasta form, making it a fun and delicious twist on a classic.
  • Family-Friendly: Kids and adults alike will love this cheesy taco pasta. It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s sure to become a new family favorite.

Ingredients

Ingredients for recipe on marble board with text overlay.
  • red or yellow onion
  • lean ground beef
  • minced garlic
  • chunky salsa
  • taco seasoning
  • tomato sauce
  • canned green chiles
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • sour cream
  • Cilantro or flat leaf parsley
  • green onions
  • pasta – use your favorite pasta shape. You can use shells, rotini, penne.
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Step by Step Instructions

This is an easy dinner recipe and is a great recipe if you’re in a hurry.

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Cook pasta until al dente, following package directions, then drain. 

Ground beef, onion and garlic in cast iron skillet.

In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onions and garlic. Drain off any fat.

Taco seasoning, tomato sauce, chilies and salsa with cooked ground beef mixture in cast iron skillet.

Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, salsa, green chilies.

Sauce for creamy taco pasta in cast iron skillet with wooden spoon.

Simmer over medium heat for five minutes, stirring often. 
Stir in cooked pasta and 1 cup of the sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Unbaked taco pasta baked in white baking dish with shredded cheese on top, ready for the oven.


Transfer to 9×13-inch casserole dish and top with remaining sharp cheddar and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. 
Bake in 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 
Sprinkle with chopped green onions, cilantro or parsley and serve with sour cream.

Other Toppings for Taco Pasta Bake

  • sliced or chopped avocado
  • pico de Gallo sauce
  • crushed tortilla chips or Fritos
  • enchilada sauce

Other Add-ins

  • add in any of the following, fresh corn, black beans.
  • spice up your cheesy taco pasta with 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced jalapeno peppers.
  • substitute ground turkey or ground pork for the ground beef.

Tips & Tricks

  • freshly grated cheese will work best in this recipe vs. what you can buy pre-shredded in the grocery store.
  • drain off any fat from the ground beef
Taco pasta on white plate with green onions garnished over top and small dish of sour cream on the side with fork.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

Store leftover pasta in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

You can either reheat the leftover pasta in the microwave or in the oven. For microwave, place one serving on plate and microwave for one minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments until heated through.

To reheat in oven, preheat oven to 350°F, cover leftovers with foil in baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through.

Finished dish of creamy taco pasta in white baking dish with wooden spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What toppings can I add to the cheesy taco pasta bake?

You can add toppings such as chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, diced avocado, or sour cream to the cheesy taco pasta bake. You can also serve it with tortilla chips on the side.

How can I make this recipe spicier


You can add more chili powder, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to make this recipe spicier.

Can I freeze Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake?

Yes, you can freeze the pasta in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely, then reheat in 350°F oven to 20 to 25 minutes.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use any small pasta shape, such as rotini, penne, or farfalle.

You Might Also Enjoy These Recipes

Cheesy taco pasta bake in white baking dish with text overlay.

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Cheesy taco pasta bake on white plate with fork.

Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

This easy dinner recipe will be on repeat because it’s so easy to make and the perfect pasta bake for a busy weeknight. 


Ingredients

450g/ 1 pound pasta – choose your favorite shape

454g/ 1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup red or yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 package 24g Taco seasoning

1 cup chunky salsa, mild or medium

1 can, 127 mL chopped green chilies

680mL tomato sauce

3 cups medium or old cheese, shredded and divided

1 and 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided

Garnish

3 to 4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup Fresh cilantro or parsley

Condiments

3/4 cup sour cream


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente, following package directions, then drain. 
  3. Cook ground beef, onions and garlic in large skillet and drain off any fat.
  4. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, salsa, green chilies. Simmer over medium heat for five minutes, stirring often. 
  5. Stir in cooked pasta and 1 cup of the sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese. 
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Transfer to 9×13-inch baking dish and top with remaining sharp cheddar and shredded Monterey Jack cheese. 
  8. Bake in 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  9. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, cilantro or parsley and sour cream.

Notes

Storage & Reheating

Store leftover pasta in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

You can either heat the leftover pasta in the microwave or in the oven. For microwave, place one serving on plate and microwave for one minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments until heated through. 

To reheat in oven, preheat oven to 350°F, cover leftovers with foil in baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner Recipes
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 helping
  • Calories: 628
  • Sugar: 8.2 g
  • Sodium: 1029.7 mg
  • Fat: 25.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 11 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 65.5 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 34.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 78.5 mg

11 Comments

  1. Very easy and very filling! Perfect to feed a crowd! A bunch of strong men who helped us assemble all the new furniture loved this meal! They even asked for the recipe to take back home with them 🙂






  2. This simple, hearty, comforting and flavorful pasta bake is perfect for a busy weeknight meal or a potluck dinner.






  3. I can’t think of a better dish to serve to the family. We love Mexican and Mexican-inspired food, and this is perfect!






  4. Yum! I love pasta and I love tacos. What’s better than combining the two together? I’m definitely saving this to make it again. Thanks for the recipe!






  5. We never knew how much we would like a taco pasta. The boys even asked for it on their birthday or when friends come over it is so good. A big repeat recipe for us now!!






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