Taco Pasta has all the taco flavor you love in a simple skillet meal! Its creamy sauce marries meat, taco seasoning, and pasta wonderfully!

Taco Pasta in a white bowl

Taco pasta combines two of my favorite foods. I just love the warm traditional taco flavors of cumin, garlic and chili pepper. Taco Pasta brings you all of those great flavors, but you can leave the tortillas on the shelf!

Unlike Taco Pasta casserole, this dish is made on the stove top and comes together in no time! It’s a great weekday supper that your family will demand over and over (kiddos, and adults alike)! The popular variation of cheesy Taco Pasta Tasty makes uses spaghetti and tomato sauce. However, I’ve opted for a creamy sauce and pasta shells to complement the perfectly spiced ground meat. It’s a taco explosion in every bite!


  •  The bold taco flavors
  •  The super creamy sauce
  •  Perfect balance of pasta to meat
  •  Incredibly easy to toss together with stuff from the pantry

What Is Taco Pasta?

My Taco Pasta recipe is a quick skillet dish that combines taco meat and all the fixings in a creamy sauce mixed with pasta. It’s taco perfection without the shell!




Taco Pasta in a white bowl


What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Taco Pasta?

To make this creamy Taco Pasta Recipe, you’ll need ground beef, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes and chilies, and pasta. You’ll also require cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and cilantro.

How Do You Make Taco Pasta?

To create this Taco Pasta with cream cheese, you’ll start by browning your ground beef while you cook your pasta. Add in the onions and garlic to season the ground beef before mixing in the diced tomatoes, chilies, and taco seasoning. Stir in the pasta, sour cream, and cream cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro and voila- you’ve got delicious Taco Pasta skillet style!

Taco Pasta in a white bowl
5 from 1 vote

Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta has all the taco flavor you love in a simple skillet meal! Its creamy sauce marries meat, taco seasoning, and pasta wonderfully!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 613 kcal
Author kathleen


  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 16 Ounces Dried Medium Shell Pasta
  • 1 Cup Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 (14 Ounce) Can Petite Diced Tomatoes, Including Juice
  • 1 (7 Ounce) Can Mild Diced Green Chilies, Including Juice
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning
  • 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • Salt. To Taste
  • Black Pepper, To Taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion, over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and continue o cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

  3. Add in the diced tomatoes, diced chilies, and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream, and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. 

  5. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.

  6. Toss in the cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Taco Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 613 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Potassium 487mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 9.3%
Vitamin C 3.6%
Calcium 7.8%
Iron 14.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes For Taco Pasta:

Low-carb Option: For healthy Taco Pasta, consider using a ‘protein pasta’ to decrease the number of carbs. You could also switch out the pasta for zucchini noodles. If you are more conscientious about grams of fat, you can lighten this by using low-fat options of the cream cheese and sour cream.

Cooking Pasta: Use proper pasta cooking strategies to get your preferred pasta texture. Remember, it is going to cook further when mixed in the skillet with the sauce and meat. Cook it slightly under what you normally consider done before adding it into the rest of the dish.

Ground Meat: I prefer a medium ground beef for Taco Pasta, but you could easily swap it out for ground turkey, chicken, pork, or even tofu crumbles! If your ground meat is a bit greasy after cooking, drain the excess fat off before proceeding.

How To Make Taco Pasta Ahead Of Time: Absolutely! This cheesy Taco Pasta recipe can be made a day ahead. Just warm through and sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Another good make-ahead shortcut would be to brown the meat, onions, and garlic and mix in the canned veggies and taco seasoning. This mixture will keep for several days. When you’re ready for it, just warm it up while you cook your pasta and then finish adding the rest of the ingredients!

How To Freeze Taco Pasta: You can easily freeze leftovers in any freezer proof dish. That being said, remember that cooked pasta does have a tendency to get mushy when it is reheated. I wouldn’t suggest freezing as a way to make this ahead of time. You could make and freeze just the meat mixture. When it’s time to reheat, just warm it up while you cook your pasta and pick up the recipe from there.

What To Serve With Taco Pasta: Like any cheesy Taco Pasta bake, traditional Tex-Mex sides like refried beans or chips and salsa would pair well with this stove top version. A side salad with some guacamole or even some roasted veggies like squash, zucchini, and mushrooms would also be good options!

Other Pasta with Meat Meals:

I love a quick pasta and meat meal. Like my one-pot-wonder, Mexican Spaghetti, they can be on the table in less than 30 minutes and make a hearty family meal. With my Beefaroni, the delicious tomato sauce brings ground meat and pasta together in a skillet meal that makes Chef Boyardee jealous! One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac is another great pasta and meat supper that will bring them clamoring to the dinner table and demanding seconds!

More Mexican Dishes…