Taco Pasta is so creamy, cheesy, beefy and packed with taco flavors! Elbow noodles are all dressed up with ground beef, black beans, a super creamy salsa mixture and plenty of gooey melted cheese. This 30 minute dinner recipe never disappoints!

Overhead photo of prepared taco pasta in a dutch oven

Taco Pasta

This taco pasta is something I’ve been making since pretty much the stone age. It’s easy – so easy, in fact, that it’s one of the very first dinners I learned how to cook! It’s the definition of fail-proof. Thankfully, after all these years, my family has never once grown tired of this taco pasta recipe! It’s got a whole lot to love. It’s supremely cheesy, packed with hearty ground beef and the creamy sauce that holds it all together is boldly flavored. Salsa and taco seasoning combine to create that signature taco flavor we all know and love in every single bite! I also really love making this dinner for my family because it’s loaded with protein from both the beef and black beans, so it keeps everyone nice and full. 

Enjoy more of the best taco-inspired recipes like Easy Taco Casserole and Instant Pot Taco Chicken Soup.

How to Make Taco Pasta

  • Cook the beef. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and drain the grease if needed. Add the onions, garlic, and taco seasoning and cook 2-3 minutes until the onions become tender.
  • Cook the noodles. Add the salsa, low-sodium beef broth, and elbow noodles to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the noodles are done.
  • Make it creamy. Add butter, sour cream and black beans and stir until melted. Whisk the flour into the milk then stir into the pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened. 
  • Add the cheese. Stir in one and a half cups of the cheddar cheese until it is incorporated. Then top with the remaining cheese and cover the casserole with a lid and continue cooking over medium heat until the cheese has melted and it’s hot and bubbly.
four panel collage image depicting the process of making taco pasta

Storing and Reheating

Once your taco pasta cools to room temperature, transfer your leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir each time it stops to evenly distribute the heat. Try not to overheat it or you’ll dry it out! 

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Beef – I recommend using lean ground beef to avoid excess grease. Also, feel free to swap it with ground chicken or ground turkey if preferred. 
  • Elbow Noodles – Make sure you cook them a couple of minutes less than specified on the package. That will ensure you don’t end up with mushy noodles after baking!
  • Taco Seasoning – Any brand works just fine. I recommend using a low sodium packet of taco seasoning if possible, that way you can add more salt if needed. 
  • Sour Cream – You can use low fat sour cream, but your consistency will end up being a little less creamy. 
  • Salsa – Use your favorite jar of store-bought salsa. You can grab a spicy one for an extra kick! 
overhead photo showing prepared taco pasta in a bowl with green onions on top

Enjoy!

4.80 from 5 votes

Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta is so creamy, cheesy, beefy and packed with taco flavors! Elbow noodles are all dressed up with ground beef, black beans, a super creamy salsa mixture and plenty of gooey melted cheese. This 30 minute dinner recipe never disappoints!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and drain the grease if needed. Add the onions, garlic, and taco seasoning and cook 2-3 minutes until the onions become tender.
  • Add the salsa, low-sodium beef broth, and elbow noodles to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the noodles are done.
  • Add butter, sour cream and black beans and stir until melted. Whisk the flour into the milk then stir into the pot and cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened.
  • Stir in one and a half cups of the cheddar cheese until it is incorporated. Then top with the remaining cheese and cover the casserole with a lid and continue cooking over medium heat until the cheese has melted and it's hot and bubbly.

Notes

NOTE:  The beans can be left out of this recipe if that is your preference.  

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!


Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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7 Comments

  1. Hello! I’ve done this recipe MANY times and it’s one of my kids favorite! Thank you for this easy and quick delicious recipe!
    Can it be frozen and then reheated? If so, at what temp? Same 400 degrees? I’m wanting to make this for a family member but they might not eat it right away so I would like to freeze it so that they can eat at their convenience!

  2. 4 stars
    Wow, this looks pretty hardcore. You make a beef gravy, then add taco stuff and egg noodles. Brilliant! I’ll be trying it soon for sure.

    Couple things. First, why not use a fattier ground beef and then just skip the butter? Seems a waste to have “if necessary, drain grease from beef” and then add some other non-beef fat. Second, any thoughts on adapting to an instant pot? Your IP recipes are what landed me at your site (sure glad that happened), so interested in your thoughts there. I figure you could do most of the same things, then add the (uncooked) noodles and pressure-cook for like 5 minutes and then transfer to the casserole dish in the oven. Interesting also to see what it’d be like without the baking, but my guess is too soupy…could probably alter the ratios to work on that though. Anyway, something to think about; I’m all over the one-pot miracles the IP delivers.

    Thanks again for another great looking recipe. I’ll let you know if I experiment with it…

    1. Hi there! You could use a fattier ground beef and use the grease instead of butter to make the sauce if you wish. I prefer the taste of the butter in the sauce over the taste of fatty ground beef grease. The butter makes the sauce smoother and less “greasy” in general.

      I am glad you found me! I haven’t tested this in my instant pot yet, but, I will add it to my list! If you try it before I do, let me know what you think. Your ideas sound pretty spot on 🙂