This 5-ingredient, cheesy taco pasta casserole is one of those tried and true recipes you can doctor up according to what you have on hand or enjoy it as an easy weeknight dinner without all the extras.
It’s great in it’s basic form, but it’s also really versatile. I’m going to show you how to make this taco pasta casserole in it’s most basic form and then give you some ideas for ways to change it up — make it healthier, fancier, and even yummier.
This taco pasta is so easy to make!
This easy pasta recipe is delicious and yet is so simple to make using just ground beef, taco seasoning, salsa, and cheese. Add sour cream, milk or cream cheese to create a creamy version.
Watch step by step how easy it is to make:
How many people will this taco pasta casserole feed?
This is a BIG casserole. It will feed about 8 people good-sized portions. So this is a great recipe for feeding a crowd say, if you’re hosting a party or a large family dinner. However if you have an average sized family, then you could split this recipe in half. Or go ahead and make this recipe but divide it into two casserole dishes and freeze one for later.
- 2 lbs ground meat (beef, chicken and/or turkey) *See post for other ideas
- 1 (16oz) box pasta shells
- 1 (15.5oz) jar salsa
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- 1 packet of taco seasoning + 1 cup water or milk
- Optional: Add 1/2 cup cream cheese, sour cream, or half and half for a creamier sauce
- 1.Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside. To make this using just one pot, use a dutch oven!
- 2.Using your dutch oven or a cast iron skillet, brown meat. When done, drain any fat.
- 3.Add your cooked pasta to the drained meat. (If you don’t have a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, you can move everything to a casserole dish.) Then layer with meat.
- 4.Next sprinkle the seasoning packet over the meat then pour water over top. Next add salsa.
- 5.Give everything a stir to mix ingredients together then top with shredded cheese.
- 6.Bake in the oven at 400˚ for about 18-22 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
- 7.Serve with any taco-style toppings you’d like. See above post for ideas!