This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is a one pot meal that only requires six easy ingredients. It is cheesy, full of ground beef (or use ground turkey or chicken) and has all the taco flavor kids love without being overly spicy.
When Taco Tuesday needs a change up, try this family friendly recipe mash up that has the best of both worlds; taco flavor and cheesy pasta!
If you have visited my taco pasta recipe before but the pictures look different, don't worry, you're in the right place. The recipe is the same but I've updated the photos.
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If you like to mix up taco night, after you fall in love with this Instant Pot Pasta, be sure to check out my Taco Rice Skillet. It is another kid favorite recipe and a stove top one pot meal for easy cleanup!
And if you're looking for a slow cooker recipe, check out my Taco flavored Slow Cooker Wings.
As I mentioned above, this easy pasta dinner only requires six ingredients. It is also a recipe that can be altered very easily if you are missing an ingredient.
Something you may notice is that my taco pasta doesn't contain cream cheese whereas most other recipes do. I simply don't think it is a necessary ingredient.
See printable recipe card at bottom for measurements.
- Meat - I use ground beef but you can also lighten up the dish by using ground turkey or chicken
- Seasoning - Taco seasoning, whatever level of spiciness you enjoy will work.
- Pasta - A small shape works best, try elbows or small shells
- Broth - Beef works best but if using ground turkey or chicken you could sub in chicken broth
- Cheese - Shredded cheddar, cheddar-jack or cheddar blend
- Sauce - Tomato sauce or you can use salsa instead. The tomato sauce seems to work better for picky kids but salsa will give more taco flavor.
TIP: Use lean ground beef to avoid the need to drain the excess grease that renders when cooking.
Because this recipe is so easy, it is a great one to teach the kids to cook. My son had to prepare a cooking video for Scouts, so I thought I'd share that.
Always supervise children when cooking.
🍲Simple cooking instructions
Brown ground beef, breaking up as it cooks.
Stir in taco seasoning, sauce and beef broth.
Add the pasta. Do not stir it in fully but simply push it into the broth. Cover, seal and pressure cook.
Quick release the pressure. Add cheese and pop the lid back on for a few minutes to help cheese melt.
Stir it all together and serve.
📃Double the recipe
The recipe as written gives four very generously sized portions. It is super easy to double this recipe.
Double all ingredients but keep the cook time the same!
🥘Substitutions and additions
I like to use this recipe as a baseline. It is simple and the kids love this recipe as is. But, some of my other family members like to stir in a few ingredients just before eating.
Here are a few of our preferred additions to taco pasta.
- canned black beans
- diced jalapenos
- sour cream
- canned corn kernels
This recipe requires an electric pressure cooker. I use the Instant Pot brand and it seems to be the most trusted brand out there.
If you are in the market for a new Instant Pot, I have had the 6 quart Instant Pot Duo since 2017 and I feel confident in recommending it.
You do not need to drain the grease if you are using a lean beef. If you are using a higher fat content beef, it might be beneficial to drain it.
Quick release simply means you manually open the vent to release the pressure rather than letting it release over time.
Printable Recipe Card
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 1 ounce taco seasoning
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 2 cup beef broth
- 8 ounce small pasta small or medium shells or elbows
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheese cheddar, mexican blend or cheddar jack
- Set Instant Pot to saute. Add the ground beef and break up as it cooks. Once ground beef is browned, stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce and beef broth. Be sure to scrape the bottom while stirring, to avoid meat sticking to pot. Next add the pasta. Push the pasta into the mixture just enough to submerge; don't stir.
- Cover and seal lid. Change setting to manual and adjust time to 5 minutes.
- Once Instant Pot beeps to show it's done, quick release. Carefully remove cover and stir.
- Turn off Instant Pot. Top with cheese, put cover back on but don't seal. Allow a minute or two for cheese to start to melt. Serve with desired toppings.
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