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Taco Pasta

overhead shot of Taco Pasta in a pot with a wooden spoon
Our taco pasta is a flavorful and cheesy mash-up between the ever-popular tacos and an easy pasta dish.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 357 kcal


  • 8 ounces medium-size pasta shells (4 cups)
  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely diced sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 2 ounces taco seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mild chunky salsa
  • cups Colby and Monterey Jack shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro, optional garnish


  • Prepare the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the ground beef, diced onion, and garlic to a 5 to 6-quart heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain any remaining grease.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the taco seasoning and the water to the cooked beef mixture. Stir well and allow the mixture to cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the salsa and cook on low for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta shells. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve while hot.


  • It’s best to shred your own cheese from the block, as pre-shredded cheese from the grocery store is usually coated with a preservative, meaning it doesn’t melt quite as well.
  • For an even quicker cooking time, ground beef can be cooked ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
  • You can always add your favorite taco toppings such as extra cheese, green onions, and a dollop of sour cream before serving.


Calories: 357kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 30gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1066mgPotassium: 496mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1061IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 206mgIron: 3mg