Easy to prepare, Cheesy Taco Pasta tastes just like the Hamburger Helper you grew up on—only better. Much improved.
Cheesy Taco Pasta
My homage to the hamburger helper I ate as a child is Cheesy Taco Pasta. Although I didn’t put the tortilla chips on top, so this isn’t precisely the “crunchy taco hamburger helper,” the ooey, gooey beef and cheese sauce is still there and just requires a few ingredients!
While you could easily substitute your own fresh veggies for the salsa, I used a really nice canned salsa, and it turned out really well. I’ve also occasionally used fresh salsa (I really think that dish is among the finest ever), but the spaghetti becomes more watery because of the salsa’s increased water content.
This Cheesy Taco Pasta may also be made as cheesy as you wish. Whereas other members of my family will load on extra cheese on their plate, I simply added one cup. I recommend using two cups of cheese if you want your pasta to be really cheesy.
This spaghetti may also be frozen at a later time. Instead of adding the cheese, I would use a cup of beef or chicken stock to thaw it. After it’s fully heated, add the cheese, stir, and serve.
Tools Used in the making of this Cheesy Taco Pasta:
- My go-to pan in the kitchen is the cast iron skillet since it’s hefty, maintains heat effectively, and produces the BEST searing ever.
- Pasta with huge Shells: I’m linking to this since my husband brought home the range of items from the shop when I sent him to acquire huge shells! Thus, this is the size you want for reference!
- Jarred Salsa: Reduces preparation time to a matter of minutes while maintaining an abundance of flavor.
- Taco Seasoning: I use this to reduce preparation time without sacrificing quality. If you’d rather not use a packet, you may use my recipe for Homemade Taco Seasoning.
More Recipes You Might Like
- Enchilada Skillet Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Baked Lemon Pasta With Seared Chicken
- Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Cheesy Taco Pasta
- 1/2 pound large shells pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 packet
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup jarred salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Following the instructions on the package, cook and drain the shelled pasta.
- Once added, thoroughly brown the ground beef in the pan.
- Empty the fat.
- Stir in the ¾ cup of water and the taco seasoning, then heat until the water evaporates.
- Reintroduce the pasta, cheese, and salsa to the pot.
- Mix everything together.
- Serve right away, ideally with optional crispy tortilla chips on top.