Taco macaroni is a comforting fusion of cheesy pasta, flavorful ground beef, and taco seasoning that is sure to please the whole family.
Prep Time10 minutesmins
Cook Time30 minutesmins
Total Time40 minutesmins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Taco Macaroni Recipe
12ouncesVelveeta shells and cheese,you can use a generic version (340-gram)
1poundlean ground beef,I used 80/20
1ouncemild taco seasoning,I used Great Value brand but you can use your favorite brand (28-gram)
10ouncesmild diced tomatoes and green chilies,do not drain (I used Rotel brand, you can use a generic version) (283 grams)
8ouncesVelveeta processed cheese,cubed (you can use a generic version, but the Velveeta brand is the creamiest) (226.8 grams)
Prepare the noodles according to the box instructions. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the ground beef.
Add the ground beef to a large skillet with high sides or a 4 to 5-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir constantly while cooking, for 7-8 minutes, or until the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain any excess oil.
Reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the cooked ground beef. Stir in the ⅔ cup of water. (The directions on the taco seasoning packet call for ¾ cup water, but the undrained diced tomatoes and green chilies will offset the lack of water) Continue cooking for 5 minutes as directed on the taco seasoning packet. Stir the ground beef mixture often.
Add the can of un-drained diced tomatoes and green chilies. Continue to cook on medium heat for another 2-3 minutes until the beef and tomato mixture is heated through.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cubed Velveeta. Continue stirring often until the Velveeta has melted.
Add the packet of cheese sauce that is included in the box of noodles and cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese sauce is completely incorporated. Remove from the heat.
Add the cooked and drained noodles to the cheesy ground beef mixture. Stir to coat the noodles completely. Serve immediately.
You can substitute the family-size boxed (24 ounces or 680 grams) creamy mac and cheese. You will also need to double all of the other ingredients as well.
Don't overcook your pasta. It will continue to cook slightly when you mix it with the hot cheese sauce and ground beef, so keep it al dente during the initial boiling stage.
When melting the cheese, be patient and keep the heat at medium-low. This will prevent the cheese from burning and help it melt into a smooth, creamy sauce.
If you want a thinner sauce, you can add a bit more water or some milk. Start with a small amount, then gradually add more until you reach your desired consistency.