Skillet Taco Pasta is a flavorful and satisfying one-pan dish that combines the best of both worlds: the bold and spicy flavors of tacos and the comforting appeal of pasta.
In this recipe, ground meat (usually beef or turkey) is browned and seasoned with taco spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Then, pasta, typically rotini or penne, is added along with diced tomatoes and sometimes black beans or corn.
This all cooks together in a skillet, with the pasta absorbing the rich flavors of the taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Topped with cheese and garnished with fresh cilantro, it’s a delicious, family-friendly meal that brings the taste of tacos to your dinner table with a delightful twist.
1 pound lean ground beef
½ of a large white onion, diced
8 ounces uncooked medium shell pasta (about 2.5 cups)
2 cups water
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 generous tablespoons sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese (such as cheddar or Colby)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh tomato, avocado, diced green onion, and black olives for serving
In a large pot or skillet with a lid, add the ground beef and onion, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink.
Add the uncooked pasta, water, diced tomatoes (with the juice), tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt to the pan, and stir to combine well.
Bring the mixture to a simmer. When the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to medium, and add the lid.
Cook until the pasta is tender, about 12 minutes.
When the pasta is tender, stir in sour cream and half of the cheese. Stir until well combined.
Place the rest of the cheese on top of the pasta, and add the lid to melt the cheese.
When the cheese is melted, add the chopped fresh tomato, avocado, green onions, and black olives and serve hot.
We also like this with a little hot sauce and even shredded lettuce for serving.