The BEST Taco Pasta

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This cheesy beef taco pasta is an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will love. I call it my famous leftover taco meat pasta. It’s a great recipe to make on busy weeknights, especially if you have leftovers from Taco Tuesday.

Enchilada Pasta casserole in a le creuset casserole dish. recipe by foodology geek

I don’t know how many times I’ve made this taco casserole. If you know me, I’m obsessed with tacos, so it’s not unusual for me to have leftover taco meat. So, this easy recipe was a no-brainer. It has so much flavor, and it’s the perfect one-pot meal.

When I’m doing my weekly meal prep, a batch of taco meat is almost always included. I brown up lean beef with onions and taco seasoning. I keep some in the fridge for the week, but I also freeze a portion for next week.


  • 20-minute meal – This is an easy weeknight dinner you can get on the table in record time.
  • Who doesn’t love cheesy taco pasta bake? It’s the perfect comfort food recipe with Mexican flavors.


You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now.

ingredients to make enchilada casserole


  • Dried pasta. A 1-pound box. You can use rigatoni as I did. But any pasta will work in this recipe. This easy pasta dish can be made with elbow macaroni, lasagna noodles, pasta shells, or spaghetti. You can go wild here.

TACO MEAT (Use leftover taco meat if you have it)

  • Beef or chicken. 1 lb of lean ground beef or diced chicken. You can also use ground turkey to make taco meat.
  • White onion. ½ medium onion finely diced.
  • Taco seasoning mix. 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. I make my own homemade taco seasoning blend.


  • Rotel tomatoes. 1 – 10 ounce can.
  • Red enchilada sauce. 1 – 19 ounce can.
  • Black beans. 1 – 15 ounces can, drained.
  • Corn kernels. 2 cobs of fresh corn or 1 cup frozen
  • Cheese. 16 ounces of shredded Colby jack cheese, cheddar cheese, or a Mexican cheese blend.


  • Green onions. ½ bunch green onions chopped thin
  • Sour cream.
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo – Fresh salsa is great with this recipe.

Other than the ingredients for this enchilada pasta recipe, you’ll need a few things.

  • 9 x 13 pan. Or something of equivalent capacity to bake the pasta casserole.
  • Large bowl. Use a large bowl to mix the ingredients together before putting them in the casserole dish to bake.
  • Baking sheet. I put the 9 x 13 pan on the baking sheet to catch any melted cheese or bubbling sauce.

How To Make Taco Pasta Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  2. Boil the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions. I usually use the small number to make sure it’s very al dente. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl.
  3. Brown the taco meat in a large skillet with the onion and the taco seasoning blend. (Use leftover taco meat if you have it)
  4. Rotel tomatoes. Add ⅓ of the Rotel tomatoes to the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Reserve the remainder to add to the pasta.
  5. Combine the ingredients. Get the large bowl. Add the cooked pasta, browned taco meat, beans, corn, the enchilada sauce, the remainder of the Rotel tomatoes, and half of the cheese. Toss to combine.
  6. Assemble. Add the pasta mixture to the 9×13 pan. Top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake. Bake until the cheese is melted. Roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Serve. Top with sliced green onions and freshly minced cilantro. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Tips For Making Taco Pasta Casserole

How long does leftover taco meat last in the fridge?

When stored in an airtight container, taco meat will last about 5 days in the fridge. If you are going to store it longer than that, freeze it in a zip-top bag or in a container.

Should I undercook pasta for a casserole?

Yes, undercooked pasta is best when making a pasta casserole. Because you will be cooking the pasta in the oven and additional liquid is usually added, it’s a good idea to undercook the pasta so that the pasta doesn’t get overcooked and mushy.

Enchilada Pasta one pot dinner in a baking pan with a spoon pulling out a cheesy spoonful. recipe by foodology geek.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch up the meat: Any meat can be used for this recipe. Just season it with a little taco seasoning and give it a quick sauté.
  • Make Taco Soup: To make taco soup, leave out the cheese and add in 4 to 6 cups of chicken broth. You can top the soup with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

What To Serve with Taco Pasta

A big leafy green salad is always a great side to serve with a casserole. Try my champagne vinaigrette dressing.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Having a few go-to spices on hand allows you to add a lot of flavor to whatever you are cooking really easily.

This taco seasoning is great on chicken, beef, or peppers and onions if you are making veggie tacos. I also use it in my tortilla soup recipe and my 5 Alarm Fire House Chili.

Ingredients for Taco Seasoning

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Sometimes, you’re not in the mood to cook dinner, but don’t you dare pick up that phone and order in. I have so many 30-minute meals.

Sheet pan dinners like Steak Fajitas or Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry are perfect when you don’t want to do a lot of dishes. Everything bakes together on one sheet pan.

I’m practically famous for my fried rice recipes like Spam Fried RiceSpicy Dirty Rice and Beans, and my Easy Take-Out Style Chinese Fried Rice. Any of these are great if you have some leftover rice.

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One pan enchilada pasta recipe covered with cheese and topped with green onions and cilantro. recipe by foodology geek

Taco Pasta

Move over tacos, there's a new Mexican dish in town – taco pasta! This fusion of two classic comfort foods is simple to make and sure to satisfy. All you need is some cooked pasta, taco meat, cheese, and your favorite toppings. So why not give it a try tonight? You'll be glad you did!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 servings
Calories 562 kcal




  • 1 box pasta, cooked al dente

Taco Meat

  • 1 lb ground beef, browned with onions and taco seasoning
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning

Mix Ins

Favorite Toppings

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch green onions, chopped thin
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • pico de gallo


  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Boil the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions. I usually use the small number to make sure it's very al dente. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl.
    1 box pasta
  • Brown the taco meat. Brown the meat with the onion and the taco seasoning. You can use leftover chicken or beef in this recipe if you have it.
    1 lb ground beef, ½ medium onion, 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • Get the large bowl. Add the cooked pasta, browned taco meat, beans, corn, and half of the cheese.
    1 box pasta, 1 lb ground beef, 15 oz black beans, 1 cup corn kernels, 16 oz cheese
  • Rotel tomatoes. Add 1/3 of the Rotel tomatoes to the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Add the remainder to the pasta.
    10 oz rotel tomatoes
  • Enchilada sauce. Add the enchilada sauce to the pasta. Toss to combine.
    19 oz red enchilada sauce
  • Assemble. Add the pasta mixture to the 9×13 pan. Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake. Bake until the cheese is melted. Roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve. Top with sliced green onions and fresh minced cilantro. Serve with your favorite toppings.
    1 bunch fresh cilantro, ½ bunch green onions, 1-2 avocados, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo

Laura’s Tips + Notes

This recipe is super fast and easy if you have pre-cooked your meat. I like to have browned ground beef and onions in the fridge ahead of time so that I can make things like this when I am short of time. 
For the corn: Alternatively use 1 cup of frozen corn or 1 can of corn, drained. 
For the taco meat: Alternatively, you can use diced or shredded chicken with taco seasoning. 
Gluten-Free? Just use gluten-free pasta. 


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Calories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 30gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 800mgFiber: 7gSugar: 7gCalcium: 350mgIron: 3mg
Keyword casserole, easy dinner, enchilada, pasta, tex mex
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