This Cheesy Taco Pasta Casserole is an easy family dinner using only a handful of ingredients and a couple minutes of preparation! It’s like a Tex-Mex Hamburger Helper!
Why You Will Love This Taco Pasta Casserole
- SIMPLE AND EASY – Using just a few common pantry ingredients, you can throw together this family dinner in just a matter of minutes. It’s great for busy weeknights or when you want a new new Mexican inspired cuisine for Taco Tuesday!
- VERSATILE – This is one of the recipes that you can sorta use whatever you have on hand. Change the pasta, the cheese or throw your own seasonings in there. You really can’t mess this one up. Read below for some variations!
- DELICIOUS – Full of Tex-Mex flavor, seasoned ground beef is mixed with tender noodles and baked to bubbly perfection in your oven. It’s all combined with a extra creamy, cheesy sauce that you’ll love!
Cheesy Taco Pasta Casserole
If you are looking for an easy family dinner that will be sure to satisfy a hungry family (and still have leftovers for tomorrow), look no further than pasta bakes! We love how rich and hearty they are (and how easy they are to make!)
This Taco Pasta Casserole is our newest recipe to share with you! For step-by-step instructions on how to make it, check out the printable recipe card below. But here is what you’ll need to get started.
- GROUND BEEF – We used 80/20 lean ground beef. But use whatever you’d like. Or substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for a lighter meal.
- ONION – We used Yellow Onion for it’s sweeter, milder flavor. But you can use red onion.
- TACO SEASONING MIX – Any brand. Or make your own if you have your own recipe.
- WATER – Substitute with beef stock for a richer flavor.
- DICED TOMATOES WITH CHILIS – We love using Ro-Tel tomatoes. You can also use salsa for this part.
- CREAM CHEESE – Softened. Lighten the dish up with reduced fat cream cheese. Or, Philadelphia Cream Cheese has fun flavors like Jalapeno Cream Cheese if you want to try that out in this recipe.
- CHEESE – We used “taco” cheese. Also sometimes called Fiesta Cheese. But you can use whatever you’d like.
- PASTA – Prepared al dente. We used Penne, but you can sub for any pasta shape. Shells would be great in this recipe!
Storage, Leftovers and Freezing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator. They should be good in your fridge for about 4-5 days. Taco Pasta Casserole reheats well in the microwave.
I would not freeze this dish.
Notes, Tips and FAQs
- TOPPINGS – Add some fun toppings! Some ideas would be: lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, black olives, fresh avocado, limes, tortilla chips, fritos, black beans, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, sour cream, ranch dressing. Or whatever sounds good to you!
- MAKE IT ALL IN ONE POT – Save time on doing dishes by preparing this whole dish in one pot! Just brown your ground beef in a large enough pot or skillet where you can just add all the ingredients after you drain the grease!
- VEGETARIAN VERSION – You can make this with beans instead of meat for a vegetarian friendly meal.
- ADD INS: Add black beans, green chilies, tomatoes, or Bell Peppers for even more flavor!
- DO YOU HAVE TO USE CREAM CHEESE? – Nope, you can actually omit the cream cheese all together in this recipe. This will lighten the dish up significantly. But the sauce will not be nearly as creamy.
We hope you enjoy this Cheesy Taco Pasta Casserole! Leave a comment to let us know how it turned out! Happy Eating!
DO YOU LIKE A YUMMY TACO CASSEROLE? CHECK OUT:
- TACO SPAGHETTI
- TACO LASAGNA
- WALKING TACO CASSEROLE
- CHICKEN ENCHILADA SUIZA
- CROCKPOT MEXICAN CASSEROLE
- DORITO CASSEROLE
Cheesy Taco Pasta Casserole
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix
- 1/3 cup water
- 10- ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilis
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups taco blend shredded cheese divided
- 16 ounces penne pasta prepared
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Brown the ground beef with the onion in a large skillet.
- When the meat is cooked through, drain the grease and add the taco seasoning, water, diced tomatoes with chilis.
- Add cream cheese to the pan. Stir to mix and continue cooking until the cream cheese is melted.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in half the shredded cheese and the pasta. Stir to mix.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted.