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!
Taco mac. The words just go together in my food dreams. Taco seasoned beef married together with a mac n cheese bake and a few other tacos toppings is the perfect combination fo flavors. And sounds a lot better to me than mac and cheese tacos. Which could be interested, but I’m sticking with this easy taco pasta bake.
TACO MAC N CHEESE PASTA BAKE
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You know the old school Tex 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 favorite! 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 favorite. Actually, maybe saying that it’s my favorite 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, plus it’s so easy and fast to make so it’s the one I make most frequently.
And since I love to put new spins on old favorites, so I thought – why not try it in a taco 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 flavored 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 mac n cheese casserole 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 and 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 recipe every night!
Want more macaroni recipes?
- Classic Macaroni and Cheese
- Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
- Lightened Up Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Bake
- Rainbow Macaroni Salad
- Skinny Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
- More dinner recipes…
Tools used to make this Taco Mac N Cheese Pasta Bake recipe
Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential for everything from dinner to desserts. I use mine all the time and with proper care, it’ll last for years and years.
Large Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. It’s large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
Baking Dish: This baking dish is a must-have for any home cook. I actually have 3 of them in my cupboard, and each dish comes with a lid for storing leftovers or taking your dishes on the go.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 ounce 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 a 9x13 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.