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One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta

A cheesy taco pasta dish with taco seasoned ground beef, taco sauce, pasta, corn, and lots of cheese! This meal comes together all in one pot - even the pasta gets cooked in the same pan.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 344kcal
Author Chelsea Lords


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet taco seasoning Note 1
  • 2 cups water, separated
  • 1 cup mild salsa Note 2
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mild taco sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: green onions or cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes, diced avocado


  • BEEF: Brown the ground beef in a large nonstick skillet. Transfer the beef to a plate and drain the fat. Add in the onion and garlic in the skillet. Stir until fragrant - about 30 seconds to a minute on medium-high heat. Add in the taco seasoning and stir for 30 more seconds.
  • OTHER INGREDIENTS: Add in one cup of water, salsa, and corn. Stir well and add in the uncooked pasta, taco sauce, and reserved cooked beef.
  • BOIL & SIMMER: Bring mixture to a boil and then lower to low-medium heat and cover the skillet with a lid. Let simmer for about 5-7 minutes and then add in the last cup of water and stir everything together again. Return lid and let simmer until pasta is tender, about another 5-7 minutes.
  • ADD TOPPINGS: Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese. Stir into the pasta until melted. Top taco pasta with optional toppings of choice. We love avocado, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cilantro or green onions. Serve immediately.



Note 1: if you'd rather use a homemade taco seasoning mix, stir together the below seasonings and use in place of the packet:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Note 2: If you don’t use a non-stick skillet, you’ll need to stir the pasta ever 3-4 minutes to keep from sticking. During the simmering stage, keep an eye on the liquid level and add up to ¼ cup water if the water has evaporated before the pasta is tender.
Note 3: This dish can end up fairly spicy depending on the salsa and taco sauce used. If you're worried about heat, be sure to taste both before adding into this recipe.


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.3g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10.8g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 542mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 3.9g