Taco Pasta Bake Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Pasta: 12 ounces of your favorite short pasta (elbow macaroni, rotini, penne, farfalle)
  • Protein: 1 pound ground beef (or substitute with ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled plant-based meat)
  • Onion: 1 medium onion, diced
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced

Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Veggies

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (like Rotel)

Sauces

  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce (red or green, adjust spiciness as desired)

Cheese

  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese (or a combo of cheddar and Monterey Jack)

Optional Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced black olives
  • Crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

Prep: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain and set aside.

Brown the meat: Brown the ground beef (or your protein choice) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once browned, drain excess grease, then add the diced onion. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Season & Simmer: Add the taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the beef mixture. Stir well. Incorporate the black beans, corn, diced tomatoes and green chiles, tomato sauce, and enchilada sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly.

Combine with pasta: Add the cooked pasta to the beef mixture and stir to combine everything thoroughly.

Cheese it up: Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top evenly with 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese.

Bake: Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and lightly browned.

Rest: Let the pasta bake rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Finish and enjoy: Top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese and your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Customization: Easily add other veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms. Boost the spice level with extra chili powder or a diced jalapeño.
  • Make-ahead: Assemble the casserole up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Increase baking time when cooking from chilled.
  • Crockpot: Brown the beef first. Then add all ingredients (except pasta and half the cheese) to the crockpot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3. Stir in cooked pasta and top with cheese.

Comments

No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *