Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet {ONE POT PASTA}

Creamy, cheesy pasta bursting with taco flavors and made in just one skillet. Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet is the best weeknight dinner because everything cooks in one pot, even the pasta.  Loaded with taco flavors, this is a healthy and fun way to surprise your family on Taco Tuesday!

Overhead shot of taco pasta in a black skillet with a wooden spoon on a white background.

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Raise your hand if you are related to a member of the picky eaters club? *me..raising both hands.* 

I’m always coming up with easy recipes I can make quickly to feed the people in my house and this Cheesy Taco Pasta recipe is one of their favorites! It’s so easy to make and is a one pot pasta dinner winner every time I make it. 

Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet is a hit with my family, they seriously can’t get enough and it makes a ton.  Great for packing for lunch the next day or saving for leftover night at the end of the week.  

close up of taco pasta in a black skillet with a wooden spoon.


This easy Taco Pasta Skillet is a cinch to make in less than 30 minutes.  I make it with lean ground beef, tomatoes, pasta, cheese, garlic, olives and chopped green chiles.  I used my favorite TACO SEASONING in this recipe just to speed things up a bit and it took the flavor right to taco town.  If you want a little crunch for a true taco experience just top with some crushed up tortilla chips

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.

Remove the beef from the pan and drain off the fat.

Saute the onions and garlic. 

Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Return the beef to the pan and cover.

Cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked.

I use a lean ground beef to keep calories in check but if you prefer to use ground turkey or chicken, that works well, too.

taco pasta being served with a wooden spoon.


You can easily make this taco pasta in a slow cooker or crock pot.

Add the ground beef to the slow cooker and stir in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE PASTA. Cook the taco mixture on low for 2-3 hours.

Stir in the pasta and cook for an additional hour.

Stir in the cheese and serve. 

Cooking it in a crock pot definitely is a lifesaver if you have a ton of activities to get to after school or are generally too busy to make dinner at the end of the day. OR…you’re just too tired come dinnertime and want to order take out.

Taco pasta on a white plate with a fork


We like to serve our Taco Pasta recipe with chopped lettuce, fresh salsa, pickled jalapeños and corn chips. Some of my family likes to stir in sour cream, too. 

You can even serve it with a light salad so you get your veggies in, too….or serve with a pile of cilantro lime rice. More carbs are never bad in my opinion.

The cooking method is strikingly similar to my Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet and Artichoke Asparagus and Sausage Skillet.  All ready in less than 30 minutes and with just one pan to clean!

We also love this easy Picadillo recipe for a zesty weeknight dinner and this One Pot Stuffed Pepper Skillet!

Overhead shot of stuffed pepper casserole in a black skillet.


  • Pasta – Be mindful of the type of pasta you use. Small shapes, like rotelle and wagon wheel pasta, cook quickly but larger shapes will take more time to cook. Just check your pasta for doneness around the 8 minute mark.
  • Cookware – Make sure you use a LARGE, DEEP skillet or pot to hold everything in it.  I love this one and use it several times a week for one pot dinners. 
  • Stock – The size and shape of your pasta will also determine the amount of chicken stock you’ll need to use. Check your taco pasta during cooking to ensure it all hasn’t been absorbed and if you need to add more, add it about 1/4 cup at a time. There will be a little bit of liquid left when it’s finished cooking that will thicken as it cools.

taco pasta on a white plate with a skillet in the background.


Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet

The ultimate One Pot Pasta dinner....easy CHEESY Taco Pasta Skillet is all the flavor of a juicy taco in a super cheesy, saucy pasta casserole.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 303 kcal


  • skillet


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 vidalia onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives drained
  • 1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chills
  • 1 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded mexican blend cheese or sharp cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and add the ground beef. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink breaking it up into smaller pieces during the cooking process.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the turkey to a bowl and drain off all but two tablespoons of fat.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the onion. Cook the onion until translucent and stir in the garlic. Cook for one minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook until it becomes a deep burgundy color. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, chills, taco seasoning, pasta and chicken stock.
  • Return the turkey to the pan and cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes. (Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.)
  • Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
  • Top with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.


Serving: 0gCalories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 22gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1267mgPotassium: 526mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1007IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 3mg
Keyword one pot pasta, pasta, taco pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



16 comments on “Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet {ONE POT PASTA}”

  1. Pingback: Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich - The Suburban Soapbox

  2. I love the Tex-Mex flavors you’ve put into this pasta dish! Sounds wonderful!

  3. I don’t even have kids and I love back to school time. It means fall is almost here! OH and my husband would gobble this up!

  4. Great recipe! I’m a huge fan of Anolon pots

  5. What an awesome looking pasta dish! LOVE how packed full of flavor it is and that taco seasoning addition is perfection!

  6. This pasta dinner is so perfect! My son would love it!

  7. That second picture! Yum. I need to start making more one pot meals like this. I hate dishes so I figure they’re especially meant for people like me. 😉

  8. I love Mexican food and I love only dirtying one pot/pan for easy clean up. Therefore, I need to make this 🙂

  9. Oh – wagon wheels are just the perfect pasta shape for this dish. I am definitely adding it to the menu, the kids will love it. And yeah, happy dancing all day long over here…. 😉

  10. Easy dinners is exactly what I do on school nights! Our kids started Monday! This would be a family favorite for sure!

  11. One pot meals rock, especially when school, sports and the craziness gets going. Gorgeous shots!

  12. Ugh! Parent homework is the worst, but you are right–there just isn’t an easy way to prepare for the newly jam-packed schedule that the school year brings. An easy meal like this one would sure ease the transition.

  13. My kids went back to school yesterday, and as much as I miss their chatter and company, I have to admit it’s nice to get back into a routine again. This pasta skillet dish would be perfect for nights when we’re running from one activity to another!

  14. alllll of my favorite things in one dish? You are kidding me! I love this! This is something my mom would make now that she’s retired. She’ll call me to make sure it’s something I’ll like and then proceed to eat the entire pan!

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