If you like tacos, you’re going to love this Mexican-inspired dinner idea. This one pot taco pasta is a delicious easy dinner recipe made with ground beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes, black beans, and corn.
About This One Pot Taco Pasta
This one pot taco pasta includes many of the ingredients you might have with tacos, taco salad, quesadillas, and more. Only, rather than stuffing ingredients into tortillas, you toss them with pasta. The combination of ground beef, tomatoes, taco seasoning, black beans, corn, and pasta makes the dish a wonderful choice and popular with the whole family.
A wonderful part of this dish is that there is little chopping involved. In fact, beyond chopping an onion, some garlic, and some tomatoes if you don't use canned, most ingredients simply require measuring or come in cans. Additionally, since most of the ingredients are pantry-stable, you can have them on hand all the time for when you require a quick and easy dinner recipe. The total time for this dish between the prep time and cook time, should only be about 30 minutes or so.
This dish is also a healthy choice with a mixture of fresh ingredients. Black beans are particularly wonderful to use in recipes because they are high in fiber, in addition to protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium. Also, you can choose to use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta if you prefer rather than traditional white pasta if you like.
How to Make This One Pot Taco Pasta
1. For this pasta recipe, you should start with either a large pot or a Dutch oven. Then, you heat the olive oil in it on the stove top before you saute the ground beef while breaking it apart with a wooden spoon or spatula so that it becomes finely crumbled and easy to mix with the other ingredients.
2. Next, add in the onion, garlic, taco seasoning, and salt. The key here is to cook the mixture until the flavours of the taco seasoning and garlic are amplified and the onion is soft. This step will help you achieve an overall better flavour in the finished dish.
Making the Sauce
3. The next step is to add in 4 cups of chicken broth or beef broth. At this point, you can scrape the bottom of the pot if necessary to pick up the caramelized bits and add extra flavour to the sauce. This is called deglazing and is frequently done with either broth, wine, or water in other recipes.
To continue with making the sauce, stir in diced tomatoes, tomato puree, black beans, corn. The diced tomatoes can be fresh diced tomatoes from your garden, tomatoes you canned yourself, or ones that you purchased from the store.
4. The last ingredient to add is the pasta. It is ideal if it is a shorter cut because that will match best with the size of the other components like the black beans and corn. Something like penne, elbow macaroni, rotini, or fusilli are all wonderful choices. I used a new to me shape called Radiatori.
Cooking the Pasta
5. Stir everything together to combine evenly. Try to submerge most of the pasta into the broth as best as you can. Then close the lid. Start cooking on medium-high heat to bring the liquids to a boil. Then turn down to low heat and cook until the noodles are tender. After turning to a simmer, try not to open the lid until the minimum recommended cook time for your specific pasta has past. We are trying to keep as much of the liquids/steam in the pot.
6. After about 10 minutes of simmering you can start checking on the pasta. It is done when tender. By then the pasta will have absorbed most of the liquids in the pot. I like to stir in some chopped herbs (cilantro or parsley) and shredded cheese right into the pot.
Then, you can serve the one pot taco pasta and garnish each bowl with your favourite Tex-Mex toppings such as cilantro, and fresh avocado. For cheesy taco pasta top with shredded cheese. A Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese would be particularly delicious here. You could also serve green chilies like jalapeno on the side if anyone would like to add a little spice to their serving.
While this one pot taco pasta is perfect as it is, it is helpful to know that it is easy to vary at home in a pinch. Here are some ideas for how you could vary it.
- Rather than ground beef, try it with ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork instead.
- Rather than using a storebought taco seasoning, you can make homemade taco seasoning with a mixture of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
- Get creative with garnishes by using sour cream, cilantro, salsa, various types of cheese, lime wedges, and more.
- If using fresh tomatoes, try charring them a little on the grill to infuse a slightly char roasted flavour into the pasta.
- Add whatever veggies you need to use up like bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.
Storing and Reheating the One Pot Taco Pasta
This taco pasta recipe makes eight servings, so if you have a smaller family, you may find yourself with leftovers. Leftover pasta should store well in an airtight container in the fridge for one or two days. Then, to reheat it, I recommend that you do so in a skillet over low to medium heat. Simply, toss in hot water as needed, and toss the pasta until it is sufficiently heated through. Of course, you could also heat this pasta in the microwave and it will still be very delicious. It just might be a little drier than when you first made it.
Other Pasta Recipes You'll Love:
- Leftover Chili Mac 'n' Cheese
- Baked Tortellini Alfredo (Cauliflower Sauce)
- Instant Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
One Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning use at least 2 tablespoons or a whole package if using store bought taco seasoning
- 4 cups broth beef/chicken
- 2 large tomatoes diced (or 15oz can diced tomatoes)
- 1 can tomato puree/crushed tomatoes 15 oz
- 1 can black beans drained (1.5 cups)
- 1 can corn drained (1.5 cups)
- 1 lb short pasta regular, whole wheat, or gluten free
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium high. Add the oil and ground beef and sear until browned.
- Then add in the onion, garlic, salt, and taco seasoning and sauté while stirring until onion turns translucent.
- Deglaze the pot with the broth. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, drained black beans, corn, and pasta. Cover and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
- Once boiling, turn down heat to low and simmer until the pasta is cooked to al dente texture.
- Serve topped with shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado.
- One pot pasta dishes are always best served right away. Any leftover pasta stew is still delicious but the pasta will continue to absorb liquid and soften further.
Absolutely! You can try ground turkey, chicken, or pork for a tasty variation.
No worries! You can make your own seasoning with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
Certainly! Bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes are excellent choices to enhance the dish.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in a skillet over low to medium heat, adding hot water as needed, or microwave until heated through.