Creamy taco pasta is a fun way to switch up taco night. This cheesy taco pasta dish takes the flavors of classic ground beef tacos and adds them to pasta for an easy dish the whole family will love. Think Hamburger Helper but better.
I don’t know about you, but I loved Hamburger Helper when I was a kid. Something about the cheesy goodness of the pasta and the slightly zesty ground beef.
Total kid comfort food. Though, to be honest even now as an adult, I love Hamburger Helper.
And you know what else I love? Tacos. Who doesn’t? Tacos are one of our go to easy meals. Because tacos. The whole family loves them. Needless to say, they make it onto our menu quite often.
Sometimes, though, I want to switch it up and make something just as easy as tacos but a little heartier and more comforting.
I know. What’s more comforting than a taco? Creamy taco pasta that tastes like the Hamburger Helper we all know and love from childhood. It checks all the comfort food boxes: pasta, cheese, nostalgia.
And added bonus: it has big taco flavor.
It’s like the bowl of creamy taco pasta just begs you to dive right in and enjoy.
Getting to the part where you dive in and enjoy is easy too. In fact, this dish doesn’t require much more work than Hamburger Helper. And it certainly doesn’t need any hard to find ingredients.
All this creamy taco pasta needs are basic kitchen staples like pasta and ground beef.
The other great part about this dish? It comes together in just about the time it takes to cook pasta so it is perfect for those busy weeknight meals. And all you need to do to make it is boil pasta and brown ground beef with an onion, some garlic, canned diced tomatoes and seasoning.
Then you pour the cooked pasta into the pan with the cooked, seasoned beef and stir in cream cheese, sour cream, and pasta water. Let it simmer and dinner’s done.
A perfect quick and easy, busy weeknight meal. Be prepared though. Dinner will be silent. Everyone will be too busy eating, or in my case, scarfing down their first helping of this creamy taco pasta so they can call dibs on whatever is left in the pot.
Other Pasta Dishes The Family Will Enjoy:
- Baked Spaghetti Pie with Pepperoni
- Cheesy Mexican Chicken Spaghetti
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti & Meatball Soup
- Beefy Cheesy Tomato Casserole
- Mac & Cheese Lasagna
Creamy Taco Pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes
- 1 small onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1-2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained, or 1 cup salsa
- 1 packet 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp dried cilantro leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.
- Toss in the dried cilantro right before serving for some added color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.
recipe & pictures updated 1/19/2019
recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything