One-Pot Taco Pasta

The perfect weeknight dinner, this Easy Taco Pasta takes all the flavor of a classic taco, like seasoned ground meat, beans, salsa and corn and and turns it into a simple one pot meal.

One pot taco pasta.

We all love taco tuesday, but how about taco pasta tuesday? How about if it takes about 30 minutes to cook and you only need to dirty one dish to make it? We are all about quick and easy dinners, especially during busy seasons of our lives and this One Pot Taco Pasta is about to be your family’s new favorite. Seasoned ground turkey is cooked up with Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning, salsa, beans, and corn along with elbow macaroni to make for a really delicious spin on the classic taco. Save this recipe and hang it on your fridge for the next time you need dinner fast.

Two bowls of taco pasta.

Taco Pasta Ingredients Needed

Here is an overview of the ingredient list. Keep scrolling for the full recipe.

  • Ground Turkey
  • Elbow Macaroni (we use gluten-free!)
  • Onion + Garlic
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Store-Bought Salsa
  • Chicken Broth
  • Black Beans
  • Corn

Substitutions

Meat: You can use ground chicken or ground beef here. Want to skip the meat and go for a vegetarian version? Try adding in some mushrooms and sliced bell peppers instead!

Beans: Skip the beans if you don’t want them, or substitute black beans for another type.

Corn: You can change the corn out with another veggie that you prefer. Bell peppers will work great here.

Broth: If you don’t have broth, you can just use water.

What Type of Pasta to Use

We tested this one pot pasta with a different types of gluten-free pasta and with traditional wheat pasta as well. It all works the same! However, you must use elbow pasta for this, as the amount of broth called for is based off of that type of pasta. If you use a different shape of pasta, you might need to adjust the amount of added broth.

When you are cooking this, the recipe calls for you to cook the pasta as long as the package directions call for so be sure to check for that information on the pasta package.

The Magic of One Pot Pasta

If you are new to the concept of cooking pasta all in one pot, let me explain how it works!

Typically pasta is cooked separately in lots of boiling water, then drained before being used in whatever dish you are making. But a one pot pasta instead boils the pasta directly in whatever “sauce” you are using. In this recipe, the pasta is boiled in a mixture of salsa and broth. Instead of just filling the pot with water, a precise amount is added to ensure that when the pasta is finished cooking, there is just enough liquid leftover to create a sauce.

The resulting sauce is “creamier” because any starch that is leftover in the cooking liquid is left in the pot, instead of being discarded when draining the pasta. Because it’s all cooked in one pot, follow the directions and ingredient amounts precisely to ensure the correct amount of sauce leftover at the end.

Also note that when the pasta is finished cooking, the sauce might look like it is too watery. It will thicken in about 5 minutes to be the perfect amount, so have patience.

Big pot of easy taco pasta.

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One-Pot Taco Pasta

One pot taco pasta.

The perfect weeknight dinner, this Easy Taco Pasta takes all the flavor of a classic taco, like seasoned ground meat, beans, salsa and corn and and turns it into a simple one pot meal.

  • Author: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 00:05
  • Cook Time: 00:20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: One Pot

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup black beans, drained
  • 1 16 ounce jar salsa (1½ cups)
  • 31/2 cups chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 12 ounce elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Herbs (such as chives or cilantro), for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the turkey and cook until no pink remains.
  3. Add in the salt, pepper, taco seasoning, corn, beans, salsa and broth and bring up to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook for as long as the package instruction states (if package says to cook pasta for 10 minutes, cook for 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. If at any point, the liquid evaporates too quickly, you can add more broth or water as needed. It should reduce, but it shouldn’t get so low that it starts to burn.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked through, shut off the heat and stir in the cheese. Stir together, then let the pasta sit for 5 minutes while the sauce continues to thicken up.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs and additional cheese if desired, and serve!

 

Notes

The pasta can stick to the bottom of the pot after it has begun to boil. Make sure to stir the pot, scraping up any pasta off of the bottom very frequently.

We tested this one pot pasta with a different types of gluten-free pasta and with traditional wheat pasta as well. It all works the same! However, you must use elbow pasta for this, as the amount of broth called for is based off of the type of pasta used. If you use a different shape of pasta, you might need to adjust the broth level.

 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 652
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 1000mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 80g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 47g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg

Keywords: One Pot Taco Pasta

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4 comments
October 25, 2021

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4 Responses

  1. What brand of GF pasta did you use? I have tried one pot pasta dishes that did not work with GF and would like to try the brand you used. Looks delish and cant wait to try it!

  2. This was excellent! Made it in my instant pot and while I was nervous it wouldn’t turn out…bam! It was perfect. I browned the beef and onions first, then layered the corn, beans and pasta on top in that order. Poured the salsa over the pasta and then the stock over everything. Important – don’t stir!!! I cooked it on high pressure for half the time it says on the pasta box, minus a minute. I also used gluten free pasta and guys … just make it!! You won’t be disappointed:)

  3. This was so easy and delicious! I used EatBanza pasta, which only comes in 8 oz boxes, so I reduced the broth to 2 cups. My toddler loved it, too!

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An orange skillet with an easy one pan taco filling.

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