This One-Pot Taco Pasta recipe is a tasty, crazy-fast meal that's perfect for busy weeknights. Served buffet-style where everyone chooses their favorite toppings.
Your family will love this
What family doesn't like tacos and pasta? Well...maybe not together, but trust me: they pair perfectly.
This is also a meal that will keep your picky eaters happy, since they can load up the toppings they want from a buffet-style selection.
The added benefit to you, the family cook, is that this recipe is fast and easy.
And can be done in one-pot.
The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so there's no need to boil water in a separate pot. Clean-up is a cinch!
So clearly, this is the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
How to make One-Pot Taco Pasta
Prep your taco pasta toppings
This taco pasta dish comes together quickly.
With that in mind, it's a great idea to have all your toppings meal-prepped, portioned out, and ready-to-go when the pasta is finished.
More good news: you can do this a couple of days in advance!
Recommended taco pasta toppings
- Chopped lettuce, tomato, and onion
- Grated cheese
- Sour cream
- Fresh or jarred jalapeños
- Sliced avocado or Cutting-Board Guacamole
- Chopped cilantro and scallions
- Crumbled tortilla chips
- Drained black beans
- Favorite salsa and hot sauce (we love Cholula)
- Lime wedges
Cooking the taco pasta
Brown the ground meat in a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet over medium-high heat.
I prefer turkey and chorizo, but any ground meat would work here.
Drain the meat and set aside.
Wipe any remaining grease from the pot and return to the burner (again, medium-high heat). Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
Sauté the Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and Serrano chile until soft.
Return the meat to the pan.
Add the chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix and saute an additional minute to bloom the seasonings.
Add the pasta, chicken broth, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
Lid the skillet and reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed into the pasta and the pasta is tender. About 10-12 minutes.
Check the sauce. If you'd like a more saucy consistency, add more tomato sauce as needed.
Mix well, adding additional salt and pepper as needed.
After the pasta is cooked, all that's left to do is serve with your toppings.
I hope that you'll find my One-Pot Taco Pasta is a huge life-saver—but more importantly, I hope that your family will love it as much as we do.
If you're a fan of one-pot dinners, check out Mastering Easy One-Pot Meal Recipes, a how-to full of great tips for delivering a variety of these easy meals.
Or, pop over to Easy Pantry Meals – Living Out of Your Pantry (and refrigerator and freezer)!
Stay safe, my friends. Stay well.
One-Pot Taco Pasta
One-pot taco pasta is perfect for busy weeknights. It's big on flavor and pairs well with taco-bar-style toppings. It's a big hit with my kids!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- ½ lb. ground turkey or beef
- ¼ lb. Mexican chorizo,, casing removed
- 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (or see Recipe Note #1)
- 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. salt, (or to taste)
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, (or to taste)
- ½ lb. pasta, (e.g., elbow macaroni, cavatappi, or rotini)
- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce, plus extra (if needed)
SUGGESTED TOPPINGS AND CONDIMENTS
- Sliced scallions
- Chopped fresh tomatoes
- Sour cream
- hot sauce
- chopped cilantro
- cheddar cheese, grated
- cotija cheese, grated
- pico de gallo
- In a large skillet, sautée the ground turkey and chorizo in ½ tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat until browned. Drain and set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet and return to burner over medium heat. Add the remaining ½ tbsp. olive oil. Sautée the Vidalia onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and serrano chile until soft and translucent.
- Return the meat to the pan. Add the chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper; mix into the meat mixture. Add the pasta, chicken broth, and tomato sauce; stir to combine.
- Lid skillet and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed into the pasta and the pasta is tender (cook to your desired consistency); 10-12 minutes.
- Check the sauce: if you'd like a more saucy consistency to your dish, add an additional ½ cup or so of tomato sauce. Mix well, adding additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve buffet-style with a selection of taco toppings and condiments.
- I've also used roasted green chiles—a delicious substitution.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 24g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!
One-Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff: One-Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff: fast & creamy for comfort-food cravings, but lighter than standard Stroganoffs. BONUS: cleanup is a cinch!
One-Pot Turkey Tetrazzini: This One-Pot Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini recipe is the perfect way to use up turkey or chicken leftovers. And it's all in one pot, so clean-up is a breeze!
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Sounds delicious. Since I have never cooked meat I was wondering why you drain the meat. Watched the video and then realised. Wow that is a lot of oil.
Yes, quite a lot of grease renders out of the meat! I like to keep my dishes on the light side. I wipe most of the fat out of the pan and then add back only 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
I love simple dishes like this! Anything that you can make in one skillet is always a bonus! Can't wait to try it!
Thanks, Soheila! I hope you love it!
a very satisfying meal! and the video really made this recipe easy to follow! delicious.
Fantastic! I'm so glad it turned out well for you, Peter!
This is perfect for when you want something a little different for Taco Tuesday! I love the combination of spices. Easy to make, and flavorful!
Thanks so much, Erin! Taco Tuesday is exactly when I usually make this dish. The kids always love it!
I made this again just last night. I’m amazed at how easy and flavorful this meal is - and, as a bonus, the colors make me happy too. The spice of the chorizo is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the red bell pepper. Awesome choices. By the way, as a single adult cooking for herself, I have discovered that pasta may be frozen; however, I recommend a reheat in the oven rather than a microwave. Thanks for a lovely meal (several meals actually).
Oh, that's so fantastic, Deb!! I'm especially glad to hear that it works out for you to have in the freezer for easy single-serving meals. Thanks for the reheating tip!!
In the lovely fall weather, I was really craving something bright and happy. I wanted good Mexican food, but not the usual soft taco routine. I came home from work and made this for dinner. I have a feeling I may have picked the wrong kind of chorizo (cured, but in slices); however, I chopped the chorizo up and went ahead with it. Boy was that good. The chorizo really punches up the flavor. This is a winner - and way better than anything from the smiling oven mitt box. Thank you!
Thank you, Deb! I never would have thought to try cured chorizo, but I'm intrigued! Thanks also for shooting over the email with your photo: I'll get it uploaded soon!
Patty @pattysaveurs.com says
Mmmm Such a comforting bowl of delish, looks full of flavors Michelle! You're so right using real food is so much better, I don't like food out of a pack 🙂
Thanks so much, Patty! 🙂
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie says
This sounds so lovely...I am totally with you on using real food not packets of unknown random gubbins (usually packed with weird and wonderful unpronounceable things). Soo much better!! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare 🙂 Eb x
Thank you, Eb!!