Taco Pasta is creamy, spicy and an easy Italian meets Mexican dinner. I love making this pasta when I want the whole family to be happy. A great recipe with simple ingredients for those busy weeknights full o taco flavor in a nice creamy sauce.

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ground beef and pasta in a white bowl


Lately it’s been an all out drag down fight to get my kids to eat dinner.

The last three meals have ended in a score of Parents 0 – Minions 3.

I gave up. I told my husband, “I think I’m boycotting cooking dinner this week.”

But then I made this pasta.  Two of my kid’s favorite things in one dinner. Sure to be a hit. It’s like a Mexican version of Hamburger Helper with all the taco flavors.

Taco Pasta

The other tip for success is to make sure your kids are starving. Or if you don’t have kids make sure your husband is starving.

Usually as I’m making dinner, the kids are ambushing the refrigerator without me looking (no wonder they never eat). But this time my husband had them outside in the hot tub for a pre-dinner swim.

Dinner was silent. Everyone was busy eating. It was fabulous. And my barely two-year-old ate more than my husband and I put together. My oldest son said that the shell pasta looked and tasted like miniature tacos. You can use any small pasta though.

This meal comes together really quickly and doesn’t require the oven so it doesn’t heat up your house. A-hem. Parents 1 – Minions 3.

Taco Pasta

This easy recipe is versatile and a great way to switch up taco night. You can use any type of pasta here really and bulk it up with a can of black beans or sprinkle it with your favorite taco toppings.


Taco Pasta - creamy, spicy pasta for an easy Italian meets Mexican dinner.  the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Taco Pasta

4.69 from 29 votes
This Taco Pasta is creamy, spicy and an easy Italian meets Mexican dinner. I love making this easy pasta dish that the entire family loves.. A great way to switch up Taco Tuesday.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or any other short pasta shapes, (about 3-4 cups dry)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 ounces) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained (if making this for kids you might want to use just plain diced tomatoes)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning, (4 tablespoons)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and 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.
  • Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season 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. Add the cooked pasta a little at a time to the ground beef mixture. You may not need all of it. Stir to coat.
  • Toss in the fresh cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.


slightly adapted from Fake Ginger
Serving: 1/6 of the recipe, Calories: 369kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 117mg, Potassium: 399mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 326IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Main Course


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