Mexican Pasta

This Mexican Pasta or Taco Pasta makes for a cheesy and very very meaty dinner option that is easy to make! It’s like an amped up Mexican style hamburger helper. It is a real winner in our house, and it only takes 30 minutes to cook and just minutes to prep! This Homemade Taco Pasta is a combination of my family’s two favorites – anything Mexican and Italian! This One-Pan Mexican Pasta recipe is absolutely bursting with your favorite Mexican flavors as well as being hearty and filling. This is the ultimate comforting pasta dish! It is a filling, quick, and easy recipe to make. A cheesy blend of short pasta noodles, ground beef and Mexican style chorizo sausage, and other taco-centric ingredients and flavours, this entire dinner cooks in the same skillet, including the noodles. I used ground beef and ground Mexican style chorizo which contributes much flavor and is made even more flavorful with seasonings, fresh herbs, and all’s the toppings you want to add to it like salsa, sour cream, and cheese. This recipe is perfect for taco Tuesday, busy weeknights, potlucks, gatherings, and any family occasion. It will surely be something to rave about especially served along with a good Margarita!

Mexican Pasta

Why you are going to love this one pot Mexican pasta

  • Like pasta, it comes together quickly. The perfect meal for when you are in a hurry, it is hearty, satisfying, and delicious.
  • Like tacos, it’s always a crowd pleaser and perfect for all of your favorite fixings, like avocados, cilantro, and sour cream etc…
  • Like tacos AND pasta, it’s an easy meal that is always satisfying.
  • It’s so meaty and Utterly Delicious. Is there anything better than cheesy, saucy, meaty pasta? I think not! It truly is comfort food at its best
  • It’s quite versatile with veggie, vegan and other flavour options too that I know you will love. We didn’t add beans or corn to ours but thwhy are great add ins to bulk up the pasta and make it more burrito style

Mexican Pasta

Ingredients for this Mexican Pasta or Taco Pasta

This easy Mexican-Italian fusion recipe Taco Pasta recipe is made with pantry staples you’ll already have on hand, and it comes together in well under and hour! Everything gets cooked in one pan, which means less clean up later! Here is what you will need:

  • Ground Beef and ground Chorizo sausage – You’ll need a pound of ground beef and a pound of sausage - yes that is a lot of protein. I used extra lean but if you just have regular ground beef, you might have to drain any excess fat after cooking it. The sausage is optional but recommended - if you can’t get chorizo sausage you can use plain sausage or spicy sausage and play up the spices in the recipe for more flavour.
  • Onion, Garlic & Celery – Must haves for some delicious flavor in our Mexican style hamburger helper. The finely chopped celery is optional but I love the flavour and the extra texture it adds.
  • Jalapeños - I like to use 1-2 for some nice heat. Feel free to add more if you prefer it a bit spicier or even add some fresh green chilies or for less heat just use a bell pepper or even a poblano pepper
  • Mexican Seasoning – I love to use a blend of cumin, oregano and chili powder but feel free to use as much or as little of each as you prefer or also whatever blend you like even store bought taco seasoning works really well too.
  • Tomato sauce: I like to use passata or tomato purée along with tomato paste and finely chopped tomatoes but feel free to swap the chopped or crushed tomatoes with a can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies or even a thick salsa would also work and be delicious too.
  • Types of Pasta – I love to use mafalda pasta which are little tiny lasagna sheets. You can even use regular lasagna sheets, and just break them into small pieces like in my one pot lasagna soup + or use elbow pasta, pasta shells or fussili, farfalle, rotini, rigatoni, and rotelle would also be great in this! You can also use gluten-free pasta! Just double-check the cooking instructions on the back of the packet and reduce or increase the simmering time as needed.
  • Chicken Broth – I love using a low sodium or no sodium broth, this way I can control how much salt goes in my dish. I prefer chicken over beef even though we are cooking beef because I find the beef broth really too intense for this recipe but if you prefer a robust flavour in the sauce go ahead with the beef broth.
  • Cheese –Freshly grated cheese is always best and melts the best too. I like to use a good cheddar, tex mex or Monterey Jack. Feel free to use any of those or a blend of them. You can also make this Cheesy Taco Pasta as cheesy as you’d like. I added only a single cup of cheese, while some in my family will add additional piles of cheese to their plate. If you want your pasta to be really cheesy I suggest 2 cups of cheese.

Mexican Pasta

Ingredient variations:

  • Meat: Swap the ground beef and ground chorizo with ground turkey or ground chicken. Feel free to reduce the amount of meat as well. Most Revipes call for 1 to 1½ lbs of ground meat but my hubby likes his extra meaty so I do the full 2 lbs. Feel free to change up the ratios of ground beef and sausage too. I used ground beef because I always have some on hand in my freezer and it’s very easy to cook, but feel free to substitute it for ground turkey or ground chicken or diced or shredded chicken breast.
  • Fresh veggies: Feel free to add more fresh vegetables and even beans- 1 can of black beans, 1 cup of fresh corn, bell pepper, green peas, diced tomatoes, etc. My hubby is not a fan of beans in pasta so we didn’t add any here. But for more of a burrito pasta add them and the corn too.
  • Tomato sauce: I like to use passata or tomato purée along with tomato paste and finely chopped tomatoes but feel free to swap the chopped or crushed tomatoes with a can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies or even a thick salsa would also work and be delicious too.
  • Spicy: Like it spicy? Then feel free to use more than the 1 jalapeño or add some chopped spicy green chilies, or adjust the amount of chili powder to taste or add some crushed pepper flakes to the spice blend as well
  • Pasta Bake: This is a one pot stove top version. Cook as directed on recipe below then, transfer the whole mixture to a casserole dish, top with loads of extra cheese and bake it for 25 minutes at 350 ° F.
  • Vegan: Replace the meat with a can of beans. You can use black beans or chickpeas or kidney beans or a medley. You can also use a plant based mince too and be sure to use a veggie broth and omit the cheese. To make sure the pasta is still creamy and satisfying without it, top the pasta with a generous serving of avocado or guacamole.

Mexican Pasta

Flavour Variations for this Mexican Pasta

This is a tasty Mexican style version but the options are so endless here are a few but you really can transform this receive into whatever version you like but just swapping out some of the falbourings to create a different flavour profile. Here are a few examples:

  • Greek Pasta - use greek style horiatiko sausage, use creamy feta and season with Greek seasoning or oregano, paprika and some thyme and loads of fresh parsley for serving
  • Italian Pasta - use Italian sausage, Italian seasoning and shredded mozzarella or stir in some creamy ricotta and serve with fresh basil
  • Cajun Pasta - use sautéed shrimp and Andouille sausages and Cajun/Creole seasoning

Mexican Pasta

How to make This one pot Mexican Pasta

  1. In a large skillet Cook onion, Jelepeno, celery and garlic until tender then add the beef and chorizo and seasoning and cook over medium heat until it’s no longer pink and starts to brown. Drain off any excess fat, if needed. If using extra lean ground beef there won’t be any excess fat to drain.
  2. Add tomato paste, passata and chopped or crushed tomatoes, broth and pasta and stir everything really well together. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low or just to a minimum to medium simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through, and most of the sauce should be absorbed as well. I like to still have sauce in the pan when it’s down though because the pasta will continue to absorb liquid even off the heat. Feel free to add extra broth if needed.
  3. Finish the dish. Remove pan from heat and stir in the cheese until the cheese melts.
  4. Garnish and serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro and all the extra topping you like. And yes, you can absolutely add crushed chips to the top too if you are a hard taco fan and need a little crunch.

Mexican Pasta

Make Ahead, Storage, Reheating & Freezing

Can I Make This one pot Mexican Pasta In Advance?

  • It can technically be made ahead BUT Like any one pot pastas - it’s best when enjoyed hot off the stove top as the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce and soften. That being said you can make the meat sauce part of it and store in the fridge for up to 4 days in advance and then when you are ready to cook it completely just add in the pasta and broth and simmer until pasta is cooked. When it sits and is allowed to cool, the pasta will soak up the extra liquid and it won’t be as wonderful as it is fresh. The leftovers are still good, just not AS good as they are fresh off the stove.
  • Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: To heat up the leftovers, simply add everything to a saucepan on the stove until warmed through. You may need to add extra broth to help loosen up the sauce as with any one pot pasta dishes.
  • Freezing: Freeze the cooked beef and chorizo, veggies, and sauce (without the pasta) for up to 4 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it completely before heating it up on the stove. Add pasta, and broth and cook, and enjoy! You may need to add a little extra broth or passata – check the pasta after 10 minutes and adjust if necessary. Freezing with the pasta is possible but won’t yield a pleasant texture.

Mexican Pasta

More one pot dishes you will love:


Recipe

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed and minced
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • ½ - 1 lb of chorizo (Mexican style ground chorizo - or sausage with casings removed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon ground Chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder)
  • ½ teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup of passata or tomato purée
  • 14 ounce can of Finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can of green chilies
  • 2 cups of chicken or beef broth, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups dried short pasta (elbow macaroni or any short pasta)
  • 1 cup of finely grated cheese - cheddar cheese, Tex Mex or Mexican cheese blend or Monterey Jack

For serving (all optional):

  • Extra cheese grated or crumbled cotija
  • Sliced Jalepenos - either fresh or pickled
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Crushed or crumbled tortilla chips or corn chips
  • Squeeze of lime juice

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large 12 inch skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the onion, jalepeno, celery and garlic and sauté until onion has softened and is translucent. Approx 2-3 min
  2. Increase heat to medium-high heat and add the ground beef and chorizo, along with the spices and cook until beef is not longer pink and is browned, breaking up the meat with the wooden spoon. Approx 8-10 min. Feel free to Drain off excess fat leaving at least 1 tablespoon of oil in pan if you wish.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook 1 minute then stir in passata or tomato purée, crushed tomatoes, and green chilies, broth and pasta. Stir well to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil then Reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly uncovered stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10-12 min or until pasta is cooked to Al center and most of the sauce has reduced (add broth or ¼ cup at a time as needed if the noodles have absorbed all the liquid before they’re cooked). Make sure to try and keep noodles submerged in sauce stirring them around as needed.
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in grated cheese and serve immediately with extra grated cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños or whatever toppings you like on your tacos.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead, Storage, Reheating & Freezing Can I Make This one pot Mexican Pasta In Advance?

  • It can technically be made ahead BUT Like any one pot pastas - it’s best when enjoyed hot off the stove top as the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce and soften. That being said you can make the meat sauce part of it and store in the fridge for up to 4 days in advance and then when you are ready to cook it completely just add in the pasta and broth and simmer until pasta is cooked. When it sits and is allowed to cool, the pasta will soak up the extra liquid and it won’t be as wonderful as it is fresh. The leftovers are still good, just not AS good as they are fresh off the stove.
  • Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: To heat up the leftovers, simply add everything to a saucepan on the stove until warmed through. You may need to add extra broth to help loosen up the sauce as with any one pot pasta dishes.
  • Freezing: Freeze the cooked beef and chorizo, veggies, and sauce (without the pasta) for up to 4 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it completely before heating it up on the stove. Add pasta, and broth and cook, and enjoy! You may need to add a little extra broth or passata – check the pasta after 10 minutes and adjust if necessary. Freezing with the pasta is possible but won’t yield a pleasant texture.

Mexican Pasta