In search of a new flavorful pasta recipe? This Cheesy Taco Pasta is ready in just 20 minutes for either an easy weeknight dinner or quick lunchbox idea for the whole week. The pasta could be served warm in a lunchbox thermos or cold.
Most people probably don’t think of pasta as a lunchbox idea, but if you have access to a microwave at work or the kids have a good thermos, then it packs well! Plus sometimes we all just need different and new recipes to keep us enjoying our meals throughout the week. We made the Cheesy Taco Pasta for dinner then packed up the rest for our lunches for a few days. This pasta recipe is hearty, flavorful, and will keep you fueled all day long.
Nutrition Tip: Just one serving of lean beef provides protein, iron, and zinc, 3 nutrients that are often lacking in the diet of children and teens.
My family enjoyed this taco pasta recipe because it is loaded with all their favorite taco flavors. We made it with ground beef but ground turkey works, too. We also used our homemade taco seasoning which is easy and perfect for recipes like this one. Let the kids add their favorite ingredients to make it more enjoyable. Does someone like olives? Add them. Does someone like jalapenos? Go for it! Black beans? Sure! Whatever your family enjoys, try it out.
Key Ingredients for this Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Pasta– we used small shells but bowtie or another shape works, too! If you want to add more veggies, try a vegetable noodle.
- Ground Beef (or ground turkey works, too) We cooked and seasoned it with our homemade taco seasoning.
- Cherry tomatoes– we love these bite sized tomatoes for recipes, but you could always chop up some Roma tomatoes or other favorite varieties.
- Mini Sweet Peppers– mini peppers are a favorite in our household for their sweetness, crunch, and flavor.
- Avocado– adding avocado into recipes provides our bodies with many Vitamins and Minerals, added fiber, and healthy fats.
- Cheese– we used cubed colby jack cheese but you can use shredded cheese too. Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, too.
How to make this easy Cheesy Taco Pasta
First start by cooking the pasta according to package directions and then drain. Then mix the pasta and the dressing in a large bowl.
Next heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the ground beef and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until cooked throughout.
Drain any grease and mix with the taco seasoning. Add the ground beef, sliced peppers, avocado, tomatoes and cheese and green onions to pasta. Mix well.
Serve hot right away with a salad or favorite sides.
If packing for lunches pack into a thermos and enjoy! If you want to leave the avocado separate until ready to eat, that will help keep its texture.
Make sure to PIN IT!
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Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 3 cups medium pasta shells
- 1/4 cup chipotle Ranch dressing
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons homemade taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup Pero Family Farms® mini sweet pepper rings
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
- 1 cup Monterrey-Jack cheese cubes
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Mix drained pasta and dressing in large bowl.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mix with taco seasoning.
- Add ground beef, peppers, avocado, tomatoes and cheese and green onions to pasta. Mix well.