Cheesy Taco Pasta



Need a quick 15 minute dinner that everyone will love? Well, I’ve got your back. This recipe was inspired by those boxes of Hamburger Helper I saw at the store the other day. I see why they appeal to so many families. It’s fast, easy and you don’t really have to think too much about it. Well, I took the ease of that meal, took out all the preservatives {and msg….eww} and made it healthier! To be honest, just using unprocessed, fresh ingredients makes it ten times better for your health. Plus, whenever I taste those kinds of foods, my tastebuds are hyper sensitive to the chemicals or something because they taste awful to me! Is that just me, or do you guys taste that too?

Anyways, this recipe is 7 basic ingredients and will make you never want to buy boxed dinners again! Easy, fast and delicious with a capital D! Cheesy southwest goodness on your fork. Yes please.

You all are going to love this one! Happy Wednesday! :)


Cheesy Taco Pasta
yield: 4 large servings
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1 lb. ground beef {I used 80/20]
1 taco seasoning packet
1 1/2 cups southwest salsa
1/2 cup water
1/2 lb. pasta {I used rotini}
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cream
salt & pepper, to taste


Bring water to boil to cook the pasta. Salt it and cook pasta until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking apart as you go. Once thoroughly cooked, drain meat and run under hot water to remove any fat. Wipe out pan with paper towel and place back on heat. Pour cooked beef into hot pan with taco seasoning, salsa and water. Simmer until pasta is finished cooking.

Once pasta is cooked, drain well and pour into skillet. Top with cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and noodles are coated in sauce. Serve immediately.

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31 Responses to “Cheesy Taco Pasta”

  1. #
    Katrina — June 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    This is something my mom has been making for years. Such comfort food!


  2. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — June 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I used to love hamburger helper as a kid! Thanks for sharing this grown up version, I can’t wait to try it! Perfect for the husband too :)


  3. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — June 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Comfort food all the way! I love it.


  4. #
    Nickie — June 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I think I’ll make this for dinner tonight. Just a quick question. When you say cream do you mean whipping cream? I’m still learing in the kitchen.


    • Lauren — June 23rd, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

      Yes, I mean heavy whipping cream, not already whipped cream! Hope I caught you in time!


  5. #
    Ali — June 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    that looks soo good! Dang I really shouldn’t read food blogs when I’m starving 😀


  6. #
    emily — June 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    ummm… YUM! thinking about doing this tonight! but my husband was born with an aversion to red meat so i am thinking shredded chicken and sour cream maybe???

    to do easy easy shredded chicken i throw it in the crock pot with a little stock, seasoning (will use taco today) onion, garlic etc… let it cook all day until it falls apart! perfect for tacos, burritos, casseroles :) i’ve also done this with italian dressing in place of the taco seasoning AWESOME…


  7. #
    sherri lynn — June 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    This is my idea of a perfect meal! I just bookmarked it so I can be sure to find it later! :)


  8. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — June 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Always looking for a quick delicious dinner! Looks perfect:-)


  9. #
    Katie — June 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I made this Tuesday night for dinner – it was so quick and easy. This will definitely be saved in my normal dinner rotation!


  10. #
    Michelle — June 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks so much…my family has been taco’d out so I decided to try this last night and it was fantastic! Using what I had on hand I used Sour Cream instead of cream and Smoked Cheddar instead of regular and it will now be a standby recipe. So easy too, thanks again!


  11. #
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker — August 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    This looks fabulous! recipes like this give lazy people like myself no excuse not to cook up something new n yummy every night :) definitely plan on giving it a go!


  12. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — August 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    That looks delicious! I know my hubby will love this – can’t wait to try :)


  13. #
    Christine — August 4, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I love homemade versions of meals like this. Ever since I switched to hardly any processed foods like Hamburger Helper, I can TOTALLY taste the chemically stuff if by chance I do have to eat it. Even eating at restaurants is becoming hard because it’s just too salty or just plain icky. My only thing with this recipe is I would use homemade taco seasoning, as the packets you buy typically also have MSG in them, amongst other things.


  14. #
    Deepa — August 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    what a great idea! I’m vegetarian so I could leave the beef out but I love the idea of taco seasoning in pasta. :)


  15. #
    Kate — August 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Like woah…this was great, sooo easy and a cinch to put together with pantry ingredients. I eyeballed 4 tbsps of Penzey’s taco seasoning, it is sold in bulk, not packets. Good job!


  16. #
    nikki — August 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    found this on pinterest…tried it out, it was great!


  17. #
    Paige — February 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Taco seasoning packets have msg in them, just an FYI. I found a great ho,emade version. Cant wait to try this.


  18. #
    Dena — February 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    This was okay. I am not a salsa lover and the chunks were still crunchy so I think that turned me off.


  19. #
    Family Fun Mom — February 17, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I made this tonight for my family and I have to tell you, IT WAS GREAT! My eight year old even asked for seconds, which she Never does. I will be making this again for sure, (and sharing on my blog! Linking back to you of course!). Thanks so much!!!


  20. #
    Nicole — February 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    what kind of cream????


    • Lauren — February 22nd, 2012 @ 5:15 am

      Just heavy cream.


  21. #
    Jordan — March 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I made this last night and it was a huge hit! I made it with homemade tostadas. For the pasts I used Mexican velveeta and sour cream and it was just a bit too spicy but this is definitely one I’ll be making again!
    Thanks for sharing. :)


  22. #
    Heather — April 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Oh my heck you have saved me! My husband is obsessed with hamburger helper and I hate it so I never let him buy it- he will LOVE this! This is going on our menu for this week! Can’t wait to try it!


  23. #
    Jill — May 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    My family loved this tonight! Thanks for sharing!


  24. #
    Winnie — September 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I tried Hamburger Helper once after 25 years of not having it and it was like eating a box of salt. I had to toss it. I felt bad wasting the meat. I will give this a shot! Thank you…


  25. #
    Melissa — September 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This was fantastic! I have picky eaters and EVERYONE enjoyed it! WHOOT and what a great job on the video, Lauren!!!


  26. #
    Sherri — November 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

    is the south west salsa a cheesy one or is it the red paste? sorry just new to cooking homemade meals



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