Taco Pasta

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

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 came across this pasta. Taco Pasta. Two of my kid’s favorite things in one dinner. Sure to be a hit.

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

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 pasta shells looked and tasted like miniature tacos.

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

Taco Pasta
Prep Time
22 hrs 14 mins
Cook Time
22 hrs 14 mins
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes (about 3-4 cups dry)
  • 1 small onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies drained (if making this for kids you might want to use just plain diced tomatoes)
  • 1 packet 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  1. 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 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.
  3. 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 pasta a little at a time. You may not need all of it. Stir to coat.
  4. Toss in the cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.
Recipe Notes

slightly adapted from Fake Ginger


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

Speak Your Mind



  1. I made this from Fake Ginger too and I think my kids licked the bowl clean! 🙂

  2. Just fell onto your blog and love it! I needed new inspiration while preparing my weekly menu and found so many wonderful recipes on here! I look forward to making some this week!!

  3. This looks great, I can’t wait to try it out. I totally agree that making sure your kids are starving makes a big difference, haha! Hopefully my “minions” won’t win this time with taco pasta 🙂

  4. This is such a great idea! It’s going in my recipe book!

  5. This looks promising! My barely two-year-old has been on a eating strike lately too. She gave up even on her favourite hot-dogs and baked beans on toast. Can’t wait to try this!

    PS. Does it work without the trip to the hot tub

  6. What a great kid friendly meal!

  7. This recipe sounds and looks tasty!
    It seems to cover a little bit for all, perfect!
    Thanks for another good idea! =)

  8. I’m such a big fan of taco flavoured things! Great recipe!

  9. What a great & easy recipe. I’ll have to try it out soon!

  10. This looks AWESOME! I’ve made stuffed taco shells out of Jumbo shells before but this looks way easier 🙂 I’ll be trying it (and blogging about it) in the future!!!


  11. No jokes, i just stared at this and thought ‘when is the soonest i can make this a reality?’ It looks so comfortingly delicious! Im not surprised it was a winner with the fam 🙂

  12. Yum!

  13. Can’t wait to try this!!

  14. Glad I am not the only one loosing the kitchen battle against the minions. This is a huge victory! I think this would score me a win.

  15. Is it weird that I’m 25 and totally craving this dish? It looks soo good!

  16. I made this for dinner tonight and loved it. My 9yo is gobbling it down (and I deliberately didn’t tell her there were chiles in the dish!) and I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  17. Awesome! I am definatley going to try this! Thanks so much for the quick & easy recipe! 🙂


  18. Made this tonight for my picky five year old and it was a big hit!

  19. I made this last night with one minor change I did a plain can of diced tomatoes as I wasn’t sure how much heat the other kind would be and we have a 3 year old and a 10 month old. It was perfect. I will try it the right way next time as there will be a next time. And my 3 year old loved helping me make this dinner.

  20. Made this yummy dish tonight and it was incredible! Huge hit in our house. Thanks for the great recipe.

  21. This is definitely going to be my dinner tomorrow night. The kids will love it! And it looks super fast which will be great with school back up and sports practices running again.

  22. I made this tonight and it turned out great!! I have never been very successful in the kitchen, but ever since I stumbled upon this blog, every recipe of yours that I make turns out great!!! Thanks a ton!

  23. I just popped over from bluebird notes & there are plenty of things for me to get making! Thank you for sharing your recipes with all us Mamas 🙂 Looks like we will eat well tonight! Glad to have found you!

  24. Taco pastas are so quick and easy and they always hit the spot!

  25. I made this tonight with a few minor adjustments. When blending in the cream cheese and the sour cream I added a dash of taco sauce. And right at the end, I sprinkled mexican cheese on it and mixed it throughout.

    There is not a drop left! I’m definitely going to have to make this again.

  26. I made this the other night and it was a huge hit! thank you 🙂

  27. I saw this on Pinterest and made it last night. Instead of taco seasoning I swapped cumin, chili powder and paprika, and instead of cilantro I used sliced green onions. It was really good, and the leftovers were even better! Thanks.a

  28. I never comment on blogs, but I wanted everyone to know that this dish isn’t just for kids. It’s just me and my husband here and we both really liked it! I especially liked that it literally only took about 20 minutes to make. Perfect after a long work week! And it looks like it will warm up great, too.

  29. @Kirsten,
    Thanks Kirsten for the thumbs up! I love that it is so fast and I agree, definitely not just for kids.

  30. I made this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! Thanks so much for the great idea! 🙂

  31. Yum! I just made this for my husband and I, and it is absolutely delicious! I made a few modifications to it, such as when I cooked the ground beef I added a zucchini puree (one whole small zucchini) and 1/2 c. each diced (super fine) carrots and celery. We’re trying to up our veg intake at our house. Well, I am. And hopefully what my hubs don’t know… will only make him healthier? He’s pickier than most small children, but he absolutely loved this! I also only used reduced fat or fat free dairy in this. We’ll definitely be making this again!

  32. This was awesome! Better than I thought it would be (it’s so simple – but tastes so rich and delish!). All three of my PICKY boys ate it, and my hubby, too. It’s a keeper – thanks for sharing! You are the best ❤

  33. Delicious! I added a can of black beans too, and it was awesome. My daughter loved it too. I’ll definitely be making this again. Thanks for a quick, yummy recipe!

  34. we had this tonight. so easy! and we all really liked it. score! 🙂 thanks.

  35. Just made this tonight, our family loved it. Thank you for sharing!

  36. This is fantastic! I made it with extra lean grd turkey. Used as close to fat free ingredients as I could get. I also skipped the pasta. Its great in lettuce wraps for those of us (with no children yet!) always on the weight loss wagon!

  37. I made this tonight and it was excellent! I added extra cream cheese and corn.

  38. Just made this with rotini pasta…..it was really very good! I will add to my recipe collection. It was so easy to make! Thanks for posting!


  39. I found you off the Once a month mom web page. Just getting started with freezer meals and this was on one of their menus! Just finished cooking it. My kids aren’t picky (please don’t hit me!) so it wasn’t a surprise it was eaten! I put the chiles in it as my 4 yo loves spicy food. I forgot to drain my tomatoes tho, so had to boil it for awhile and I didn’t add pasta water. Made a triple batch, one for dinner and two for the freezer! Thanks so much for your blog! Your desserts look dangerous!

  40. I do not have kids, but I do have a boyfriend who loves all things taco. Made this for dinner tonight and it was very easy and definitely did not disappoint! I used fat free sour cream and low fat cream cheese. I topped it with some crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and black olives when serving.

  41. This is a great taco pasta recipe! This would be a great meal for special events like catering Fort Lauderdale or even simple dinners at home. Thanks for sharing.

  42. what did you serve with it? or did most of you just serve it alone?

  43. @luckymommy,
    Whenever I make pasta I always try to make a salad along side it. Either Caesar or just whatever I have.

  44. Just made this! I didn’t have any sour cream or cream cheese but did have that new Philadelphia Cooking Cream. YUM! Thanks1

  45. Just made this tonight for dinner without the green chilli’s and stirred in some tortilla strips for some crunch. My 4 and 2 year old daughters ate it up without complaint – which is a BIG thing because they are pretty picky eaters. Thanks for helping me add to my small list of menu items that I make often.

  46. I had such high hopes for this recipe, since so many people said their kids loved it and devoured it. My son loves tacos, so I thought he would love it! Not so much. It was really delicious, and my husband and I definitely enjoyed it, but the kids wouldn’t eat more than a bite. Oh well.

  47. That was really good! Good for 2 for 2 meals even!

  48. OMG Yummy is what I would call this recipe. Great recipe I will definately be adding this to the recipe weekly list.

  49. i had high hopes for this based on everyones comments. but this was the blandest dish i have ever had in my life. had to put ketchup on it to choke it down.

  50. @Anonymous,
    Sorry you didn’t like it. Did you use tomatoes with chilies like the recipe calls for. With a little spice it tastes great but you can make it mild for kids.

  51. I have a couple of picky eaters in my family as well. I have made this a couple of times already and it’s on the menu this week as well. I’ve adapted it based on what I have on hand as well as leaving out the chiles, as I know they won’t eat those. It’s a hit with the whole family! Thanks for sharing!

  52. I just have to leave a comment..i made it just now and im telling you its delish…yummm…thanks for sharing 🙂

  53. @Majal,
    Thanks! I’m glad you liked it!

  54. Making this tonight. Can’t wait! 🙂

  55. So, I love pasta, ground beef, and anything taco but despise anything tomato. How do you think it would taste if I subtracted that from the recipe?

  56. @heather,
    I definitely think the tomato adds flavor. I can’t think of anything else to substitute….

  57. Hi there! I stumbled upon your website today and love your recipes!!! You really have a ton of great ideas…i pinned a handful today and cant wait to try this one!!! Yum!!!

  58. Wow, just made this for dinner and everyone just loved it! Followed it to a t. I will make this again, esp good for a week night dinner.

  59. I loved this! I made my own taco seasoning and instead of diced tomatoes I did tomato paste. It tasted just like the Hamburger Helper that my husband loves without all the nasty preservatives. This will totally be a repeat recipe! 🙂

  60. This was so good! I made it 3 days ago and me and my man are STILL enjoying leftovers.. YUM!

  61. I made this into a vegan dish using veggie ground and tofutti sour cream and cream cheese. Absolutely fantastic!!

  62. This was so good, and easy to make! Hubby and I devoured it, I followed the recipe exactly but added some corn, and served it with diced fresh jalapeños, shredded mexican cheese, and tortilla chips that we crushed on top! Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  63. Hi Christy, I finally wanted to drop you a note in regards to the Taco Pasta recipe – ever since I saw it on your blog and made it for the first time, it has been a staple in our rotation. It is absolutely addicting. Now, I am a huge Cooking Light fan and therefore can’t leave any recipe alone: I use Neufchatel cream cheese and reduce the sour cream to a 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup of 1% milk. The dish remains very creamy and oh-so yummy but I feel I lightened it up a little bit. I also mix the ground beef with ground pork (about half and half) 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing – this one is a family favorite!


    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Thank you so much. I’m sure we all need it lightened up a bit and I want to try it your way soon.

  64. Made this tonight for my family which includes a couple of picky minions. Happy to say that they both loved it! I used Rotel and forgot to drain it so I just left the pasta water out. It still turned out great! Thanks for sharing!

  65. You are an excellent writer, typist, and blogger (assuming you do your own work). Your recipes are as delicious as they are easy to make! This is an incredible combination. I made this for my soon-to-be wife and added some cheap canned nacho cheese. She; well. Lets keep this food chat clean ;).
    I truly wish you the best,
    Jake K.

  66. Found this recipe on Pinterest and loved it immediately. Made a giant pot for a family picnic and practically had to pry the empty pot out of their hands so they wouldn’t lick it clean. Thanks a bunch

  67. Do you drain the meat after browning? Or do you keep all the juices in? This is making me soooo hungry! haha

  68. Just made this for the first time. Think it just might replace boring old tacos on Taco Tuesdays. Think I might add a little shredded cheese and black olives on top. Thanks.

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