Yummy cheesy taco pasta bake is a delicious weeknight casserole that combines the best of tacos and pasta in one easy 30 minute dish!
Originally published 12/29/12. Updated with new photos and tips 4/7/18.
Tacos in delicious, cheesy pasta-form. Plus, this easy pasta recipe is ready in 30 minutes. What’s not to love?!
There are lots of ways to customize this easy, cheesy taco pasta. Check out a few of them below!
How to make milder taco pasta
- Use 2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Cutting back a little of taco seasoning will give you a milder pasta.
- Use mild salsa. Using mild salsa will still give you plenty of flavor without adding spice.
How to make spicier taco pasta
- Use spicier salsa. I use medium in this recipe, but there’s no reason that you couldn’t use hot.
- Use tomatoes with green chiles. Either Ro-tel or another brand of tomatoes with green chiles will add more kick to this pasta.
- Use more taco seasoning. Adding another 1/2-1 tablespoon will add more spice to this pasta.
How to make lighter taco pasta
- Use half of the cream cheese (4 ounces). You can also use Greek yogurt cream cheese in this recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using fat-free cream cheese as it can be difficult to get it to melt.
- Use less cheese. We like this pasta to be super cheesy. You can cut the cheese back to 2 cups total and still have cheesy pasta.
- Use ground chicken or lean ground turkey. Either ground meat can be subbed for the ground beef in this recipe.
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- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium white or yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 15 ounce can corn (drained)
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- 16 ounces dry medium shell pasta
- 3-4 cups cheddar cheese (shredded, divided)
- Cook noodles according to package directions; set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown; drain fat.
- Return ground beef to skillet, and stir water and taco seasoning into ground beef mixture, then cover.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer for one minute; stir.
- Add corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cream cheese.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until cream cheese melts and mixture is heated through.
- Add noodles and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese; stir to combine.
- Remove from heat.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1-2 cups cheese.
- Cover, and let sit until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.