Slow cooker taco pasta combines the taco flavors you love with a pasta dish's smooth, satisfying chewiness. Tangy, flavorful, yummy ground taco meat and perfect pasta all together under a gooey blanket of cheese. This one is a real crowd-pleaser.
Two great tastes that taste great together. This statement doesn't just apply to peanut butter and chocolate. Spicy brown ground beef and cheesy pasta may be a non-traditional combination, but it sure is delicious!
This easy crock pot recipe combines the best of two different worlds and makes a dish the whole family will love. It is a Mexican-pasta mash-up!
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To make this amazing, creamy taco pasta you will need:
- Lean ground beef or turkey
- Corn - fresh, frozen, or canned but drained
- Diced tomato - canned with all liquid
- Sour cream
- Taco seasoning - packaged or homemade (see below for homemade recipe)
- Green pepper - diced
- Onion - chopped
- Diced green chiles - canned is easiest. The recipe calls for mild, but use hot if you are a fan of heat.
- Shredded cheese - cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend
- Non-stick spray
🥣How to make taco pasta
Your first step in making this family favorite recipe will depend on the type of protein you prefer. If you choose ground beef, it will need to be cooked in advance. This can be done stove top or in your slow cooker.
To Cook beef stovetop, use a large skillet. Be sure to carefully drain excess fat. If you have the time and prefer a more hands-free cooking method, use your slow cooker.
If you choose ground turkey, your raw turkey can be placed directly into your slow cooker without browning first. Lean ground turkey works best for this. Clearly, ground turkey is the lazy choice!
Cut up onion and green bell pepper. Cook pasta according to the ad dente instructions on the package. Pasta cook time will vary depending on the shape you choose. Drain pasta and set aside.
Spray your slow cooker with a non-stick spray of your choice. I like to use an olive oil sprayer for this. Place in your cooked ground beef or raw turkey in your crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients - other than pasta, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Stir ingredients gently to combine, cover, and cook on low.
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About 15 minutes prior to serving add in sour cream and pasta and give it all a good stir. Cover and allow all ingredients to heat together. Just before serving, sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Replace cover. Serve once the cheese melts.
Topping this dish with some chopped fresh cilantro and or jalapenos makes for a delicious and tasty presentation. The great thing about this tasty dinner is that it's a full one-pot meal. It is perfect for busy weeknights since all of the components can be prepared in advance.
👉Rotini is the recommended pasta shape for this easy slow cooker taco pasta recipe. The curves and crevices are great for holding the yummy ground meat and sauce. Pasta shells would make a great choice for the same reason. Whole grain pasta is also perfect in this crockpot taco casserole.
👉Rather not use pasta? You can omit it and serve this dish over rice or riced cauliflower.
👉This dish is lightly creamy. To make it thicker/richer, add in 4 - 6 oz of cream cheese 30 minutes prior to serving. Allow it to melt and stir to fully combine.
👉Full fat Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. Alternatively, if you are looking for a dairy-free taco pasta recipe, sour cream can be omitted.
Leftovers of this easy recipe can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag. They can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or about 3-4 months in the freezer.
😉Hints & hacks
- This is one of those great recipes for nights when your family will be eating at different times. If you will be serving this dish at different times, keep the meat/sauce combination on your slow cooker's warm setting. Stir pasta directly into each individual serving to keep it as fresh as possible. Alternatively, you can skip mixing it together and just serve it on a bed of pasta.
- If you are looking to dial up the heat in this dish, add in a small can of chopped jalapeno peppers with the rest of the ingredients. You can also substitute the diced tomatoes with a jar of spicy salsa.
- To make the prep for this recipe and others containing ground beef, use your crockpot to cook ground beef in bulk ahead of time. Freeze your beef in recipe-sized portions for easy future dump-and-go creations!
- Freezing leftovers of this taco pasta bake in meal-sized portions makes for easy reheat-and-eat weeknight meals
- Looking to add some additional nutrition to this recipe? A (drained) can of black beans can be added in at the start of cooking time.
- I always recommend the use of a slow cooker liner. Of course, this is an optional step. I like to purchase my liners in bulk for a less expensive per-piece price.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? I love mine!
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Slow Cooker Taco Pasta Recipe
- Knife and cutting board
- 1.5 - 2 lbs leand ground beef or turkey beef need to be browned in advance
- 1 15 oz can corn drained
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 7oz can diced green chiles heat level of your choice
- ⅓ cup taco seasoning store bought or homemade
- 1-2 cups sour cream optional
- 1 12 oz box rotini pasta I used tri-color
- 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
- non-stick spray of choice
- spray inside of slow cooker with non-stick spray of choice.
- add cooked ground beef (or raw ground turkey) to slow cooker1.5 - 2 lbs leand ground beef or turkey
- all add remaining ingredients other than pasta, sour cream, and shredded cheese to slow cooker and stir to combine1 15 oz can corn, 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, 1 green pepper, 1 small onion, 1 7oz can diced green chiles, ⅓ cup taco seasoning
- cook pasta according to al dente instructions on package and set aside.1 12 oz box rotini pasta
- 15 minutes prior to serving, stir sour cream and pasta into ingredients in your slow cooker1-2 cups sour cream, 1 12 oz box rotini pasta
- sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of the mixture and replace cover on top1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
- Serve once cheese on top has melted and enjoy!!
- 4 tablespoon chili powder
- 1.5 tablespoon cumin
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
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