If you love tacos and cheesy pasta bakes, you’re going to LOVE this TACO MAC N CHEESE PASTA BAKE! This is Tex-Mex heaven to the max – a total crowd pleaser that the grown-ups can’t stop eating and kids go mad over!
You know the old school Ex Mex ground beef taco filling that every family had for Taco Tuesday? (Or Mexican Monday or whatever day of the week was nominated Mexican night!). It’s still my favourite. I know I know, I should be embarrassed! Of all the Mexican fillings I have in my repertoire, the good ole’ ground beef remains my favourite.
Actually, maybe saying that it’s my favourite is a bit of an exaggeration because, in all honesty, my Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with its gorgeous golden brown crunchy bits is hard to beat. 🙂 I think it’s more that the traditional ground beef filling brings back fond memories of my childhood, and plus it’s so easy and fast to make so it’s the one I make most frequently.
And I love to put new spins on old favorites, so I thought – why not try it in a pasta bake? Turns out – it is incredible. Absolutely lip smackingly delicious!
But then again, if you love Mexican food, how could you not know that this is a winning combination? Taco flavoured ground beef with black beans (to fill it out) mixed into tomato sauce tossed through macaroni, topped with plenty of cheese and baked to golden bubbly perfection.
Ugh. I literally had to wipe my chin after describing that!
Now THIS is what I call a big bowl of comfort food. Call me a Nana, but my idea of a perfect Friday night is curling up on my big cushy sofa, a big bowl of this Taco Mac N Cheese (so much easier to eat on the couch than tacos!!), with my dog Dozer lying on the floor staring intently / forlornly / beggingly at me (this is not part of the “perfection” vision, it’s just reality), and overdosing on House of Cards or Sex and the City reruns.
Ahhh. I wish I could do that and have this Taco Mac N Cheese every night!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet Taco seasoning powder
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 28 oz can crushed tomato
- 2 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 12 oz / 340g dried elbow macaroni pasta, cooked and drained
- Chopped cilantro or parsley, to serve
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 3 minutes.
- Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until browned. Add taco seasoning and mix in.
- Add black beans and crushed tomato. Mix and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Place cooked pasta in baking dish, pour over beef filling and 1/2 the cheese. Toss, then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Serve, garnished with cilantro if using.