This delicious One Pot Taco Pasta is an explosion of flavors!! You've got meat, salsa, cheese, olives, and all the amazing taco flavors right in here. And it's so easy that the pasta cooks in its own sauce!
There are two things that I love about this One Pot Taco Pasta:
First, it has so much flavor!! For those who love tacos this dish will be a hit!! The combination of salsa, beef, olives, cilantro and all the amazing commonly used mexican spices, makes this pasta taste just like tacos.
Second, it cooks in its own sauce. Yes, you heard it right! No need for wasting time boiling the water, and dirtying another pan. You add all the ingredients to the same pan, and it will cook and soak up all those delicious flavors. That's why this pasta is so good!!
Substitutions and additions to this Taco Pasta
Dried Onion flakes: Feel free to use fresh onion (½ small onion would be fine). The only reason I use the dried flakes is to reduce prep. time.
Mushrooms: I know some people don't like mushrooms, so feel free to omit it completely if you prefer, or add something that you like. See my add-ons listed below.
Taco Seasoning: I usually use store bought taco seasoning to save time, but you can use homemade taco seasoning if you prefer, or if you can't find it where you live. (Recipe for homemade Taco Seasoning included in the recipe card.)
Chuncky Salsa: You can use your favorite salsa, or, if you can't find salsa where you live, you can make your own or use pasta sauce (preferably a well seasoned one).
Penne: I like using Penne, because those little tubes are great to store the sauce inside, and all the good stuff, but you can certainly use another shape. The ones that are hollow are better at trapping the add-ons.
Black Olives: Feel free to use more, less, omit it, or change it for the green ones, if you prefer.
Cheese: I like mozzarella, Colby and Monterey Jack, but feel free to play with your favorite cheeses.
Cilantro: I know some people love it, and some people hate it. So use parsley or green onions if you prefer.
Add-ons: There are many add-ons that you can use, according to your liking. Here are some ideas: corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, avocado, diced bell peppers, sour cream...
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One Pot Taco Pasta
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 tablespoon dried onion flakes (can also use ½ small fresh onion)
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms (approx. 120 g)
- 1.25 oz packet of taco seasoning (35 grams) (instructions added for homemade, if preferred)
- 24 oz jar of chunky salsa
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 lb penne
- ½ can sliced black olives
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack, Colby, mozzarella...)
- ½ bunch cilantro
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (add about ½ teaspoon if using table salt)
- Start boiling 3 cups of water. While water comes to a boil, continue with the next steps.
- In a big pan add oil and saute garlic. Then add onions and ground beef. Cook it until no longer pink, breaking any clumps that may form.
- Add taco seasoning and mushrooms, stir for about a minute.
- Add salsa, boiling water and salt. Leave it on high heat until it starts boiling again.
- When it starts boiling add pasta and stir it well. Lower the heat, close the lid, and cook it for the time stated on pasta package.
- Once pasta is 'al dente' or to your liking, turn off the heat, add olives, cilantro, and cheese. Mix it all up and enjoy.
For the Homemade Taco seasoning (if using)
- In a small container, with lid, add all ingredients and shake it to mix.
- Use the amount called in the recipe and save the rest for the future.
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