Cheesy Taco Pasta

Cheesy Taco Pasta is easy to make and tastes like the Hamburger Helper you used to eat as a kid except better. Much better.

Cheesy Taco Pasta is easy to make and tastes like the Hamburger Helper you used to eat as a kid except better. Much better.Cheesy Taco Pasta is my nod to the hamburger helper I grew up eating as a kid. While this isn’t exactly the “crunchy taco hamburger helper” because I skipped adding the tortilla chips on top, the ooey gooey meat and cheese sauce is still the same and with just a few ingredients!

We LOVED this Cheesy Taco Pasta, just like the Hamburger Helper we grew up with!You can certainly add your own fresh vegetables to the mix instead of the salsa, but I used a good jarred salsa and it tasted fantastic. On occasion I’ve also used fresh salsa (I firmly believe that recipe is one of the best ever), but the higher water content of it makes the pasta more watery.

You can also make this Cheesy Taco Pasta as cheesy as you’d like. I added only a single cup of cheese, while some in my family will add additional piles of cheese to their plate. If you want your pasta to be really cheesy I suggest 2 cups of cheese. A giant bowl of Cheesy Taco Pasta is the perfect quick dinner with just five ingredients!

You can also freeze this pasta for a later date. I’d skip adding the cheese and when you defrost it, use a cup of chicken or beef stock. Then once warmed through add the cheese, mix and serve.

Looking for more great cheesy pasta dishes? Look no further:

Just 5 ingredients in this Cheesy Taco Pasta! So delicious!

And yes, you can absolutely add crushed chips to the top! Then you’ll be re-living some awesome childhood hamburger helper memories. Or if you want something a bit different you can also make my Mexican Stuffed Peppers with all the taco flavors but none of the pasta!

Tools Used in the making of this Cheesy Taco Pasta:
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Large Shells Pasta: I am linking to this because when I sent my husband to the store to get large shells he brought home the variety you stuff! So for reference here is the size you need!
Jarred Salsa: Cuts the prep time down to just a couple of minutes and the flavors are still outstanding.
Taco Seasoning: I use this to cut down on prep time but still keep quality high. You can use my Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe if you’d prefer not to use a packet.

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Cheesy Taco Pasta

Cheesy Taco Pasta is easy to make and tastes like the Hamburger Helper you used to eat as a kid except better. Much better.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American Fusion
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Cook the shelled pasta according to the directions on the box and drain.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan and brown well.
  • Drain the fat.
  • Add the taco seasoning and ¾ cup of water, stir and cook until water is gone.
  • Add the pasta back into the pot with the salsa and cheese.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately, preferably with crunchy tortilla chips (optional) on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Keyword: Cheesy Taco Pasta
We LOVED this Cheesy Taco Pasta, just like the Hamburger Helper we grew up with!
A giant bowl of Cheesy Taco Pasta is the perfect quick dinner with just five ingredients!
Just 5 ingredients in this Cheesy Taco Pasta! So delicious!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

  1. Made this for my 11 year old twin grandsons, and they loved it (I used homemade taco seasoning). Made a double batch for them to put in the freezer for future meals. After a football game, they devoured the whole pan … all by themselves!! They like to use tortilla chips and either crush them on top or use the chips to dip into the cheesy taco pasta. This is a definite “win”. Thank you.

  2. Made this for my 11 year old twin grandsons, and they loved it (I used homemade taco seasoning). Made a double batch for them to put in the freezer for future meals. After a football game, they devoured the whole pan … all by themselves!! They like to use tortilla chips and either crush them on top, or use them to dip the cheesy taco pasta. Definitely a “win”! Thank you!

  3. This was a great start. I made home made taco seasoning, added a can of rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, a litttle beef stock and heavy cream to create a cheese sauce. Thanks for the recipe, my kids loved this.

  4. I didn’t have shell pasta, so used some spirals I had on hand. Also, I saw someone’s comment about adding cream cheese, so I threw in some of that. I eyeballed the ingredients really, as I make quite a bit of taco type things. This is my first at taco pasta though, and it turned out good. For my family of 5, it was perfect.

  5. Didn’t have salsa so added onions with the ground beef, and a can of rotel.

    Just curious though, I see the nutritional info, but no serving size. I would assume a cup, but wanted to sure.

  6. Excellent recipe! I think we will add the cream cheese for the extra sauce factor. Delicious and for sure will be making again!

  7. I’ve made this several times. It’s very easy and delicious! I always eat way too much of it!! It’s definitely worth it to make the homemade taco seasoning.

  8. Absolutely delicious. I used salsa and queso instead of shredded cheese, and I threw some fiesta corn in too…awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Quick & Simple. This recipe was very fast to prepare, simple ingredients that mostly everyone will have on hand. While it’s not bursting with lots of flavors, it’s still a good recipe. Next time I make this, I will trying using a “medium” salsa, maybe put some jalapeño and/or hot sauce. I will also try using some velveeta or a combo of Cheddar & monterey jack cheese. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  10. This was easy and tasty. I’m sure it would be a hit with the grandkids. I didn’t have shell pasta so used penne pasta that’s what I had on hand. I didn’t have a packet of taco seasoning mix so used a packet of fajita seasoning. I think next time I’ll only use half the amount of ground beef though. Overall a very easy and tasty weeknight meal. I served it with corn seasoned with chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin.

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