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Creamy Taco Pasta Recipe – Easy and Cheesy

This creamy taco pasta recipe is a quick and hearty meal! Ready in 30 minutes, top this easy pasta dinner with your favorite taco garnishes.

taco pasta in a blue pot

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a minor addiction to tacos. I have been working hard to diversify my diet, but I often find it is a taco I crave.

I’m obsessed with the delicious flavors of tacos. 

Layered taco dipchicken taco soupsteak, and egg breakfast tacos are just a few recipes I have shared in the past. 

I blame my mom’s taco pregnancy cravings on this one. Also, Taco Tuesday.

I have been craving taco flavors lately, and I have been getting bored. Isn’t that a shame – getting bored on taco night by the flavors you’re craving?

I created this easy cheesy taco pasta to change it up a little.

close up photo of taco pasta recipe

Easy Taco Pasta Recipe

This taco pasta is a modification of my ever-so-popular cheesy tomato pasta skillet. It is like Hamburger Helper, but WAY better with simple ingredients, and it’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Taco seasoning is added to the creamy tomato flavors of this pasta dish, and then each serving of this easy recipe is topped with taco toppings.

Think crunchy iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

This easy dinner would be a great way to add some vegetable portions to your daily diet and add a little fun to the dinner table for the entire family. 

I add the veggies to the big pot, but instead, you could set up a mini taco pasta station. If you are a picky eater, this is a great recipe to add to your rotation.

Put small bowls of your favorite taco toppings out, and then let the whole family add their favorites to their bowls. That’s one of the best parts about tacos, right?

taco pasta garnished

Creamy Taco Pasta Ingredients

Ground Turkey: Ground turkey is used as the protein base for this dish. It’s a lean alternative to ground beef and adds a savory flavor. Ground chicken would be a great substitute.

Diced White Onion: Diced white onion contributes a sweet and aromatic element to the dish. It enhances the overall flavor profile.

Uncooked Pasta: Use your favorite type of pasta. I like to use rigatoni, ziti, penne, or pasta shells.

Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce forms the base, giving the dish a rich tomato flavor and a vibrant red color. For a thicker sauce, add tomato paste.

Taco Seasoning: Taco seasoning is the essential seasoning that imparts a spicy and savory taco flavor. It includes a blend of chili powder, cumin, and paprika. (Try my homemade taco seasoning!)

Cream Cheese: Cream cheese adds creaminess and richness to the sauce, creating a velvety texture. It also helps balance the spiciness of the taco seasoning.

Salt: Salt is used to season the dish to your preference, enhancing the overall flavor and helping to balance the other ingredients.

Taco Toppings (Optional): These optional toppings add flavor and texture to your creamy taco pasta. 

Consider using shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced green onions, green chilies, shredded cheddar cheese, mild salsa, and sour cream as garnishes to customize each serving.

taco pasta on a white plate

How to Make Creamy Taco Pasta

Cook the Pasta: In a large pot, follow the pasta package’s instructions to cook the pasta until it reaches an al dente texture. Drain the pasta and set it aside for later use.

Brown the Ground Turkey and Onion: Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat while the pasta cooks. Begin browning the ground turkey in the pan. After approximately 4 minutes, add the diced onion. 

Continue to stir and sauté the mixture until the ground turkey is fully cooked with no pinkness remaining and the onions become translucent.

Prepare the Sauce: Add the tomato sauce and taco seasoning to the cooked turkey and onion. Stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients. 

Bring the sauce mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. At this point, the cooking pasta should be almost ready.

Incorporate the Cream Cheese: Add the cream cheese to the sauce, stirring until it melts. The end result is a creamy, cheesy taco sauce.

Combine Pasta with Sauce: Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing it to ensure it’s evenly coated. Remove the skillet from heat.

Garnish and Serve: When serving, consider topping each portion of creamy taco pasta with optional taco toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. 

These toppings add freshness and additional layers of flavor to your dish.


Enjoy your Creamy Taco Pasta—a delightful blend of savory ground turkey, creamy sauce, and zesty taco seasoning, with the option to customize it to your liking with taco toppings.

Looking for more quick pasta recipes? Try these:

Creamy Taco Pasta

This creamy taco pasta recipe is a quick and hearty meal! Ready in 30 minutes, top this easy pasta dinner with your favorite taco garnishes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dinner | Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 357kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup white onion died
  • 16 ounces uncooked pasta rigatoni, ziti, penne
  • 28 ounce tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 packet
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • salt to taste

Taco Toppings (Optional)

  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • diced green onion
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • green chiles
  • cilantro
  • sour cream

Instructions

  • In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, begin browning the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • After the meat has browned for 4 minutes, add the diced onion. Stir and sauté the ground turkey and onion until the turkey is no longer pink and the onions are translucent.
  • Add the tomato sauce and the taco seasoning and stir well. Bring the taco-flavored sauce mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. (Pasta should be almost done cooking)
  • Add the cream cheese, stirring until it is completely melted. Add the cooked pasta, toss it in the sauce, and remove from heat.
  • When serving, top pasta with optional taco toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, green chiles, cilantro, and sour cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 624mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 723IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Theresa @DearCreatives

Thursday 25th of February 2016

Looks really yummy. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared. Hope to see you again soon.

Alli @ Tornadough Alli

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

This look so so delish!! I love pasta, I love taco and it's a absolute great mashup! Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday, this will be featured at tomorrows party!

Frugal Hausfrau

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

What a fun idea! After all, who doesn't love tacos and pasta! Genius, really. Thanks from all of us at Throwback Thursday for linking up to us this week! We can’t wait to see what you’ll bring next week. :)

Mollie

Michelle James

Monday 22nd of February 2016

This looks like such a great recipe! I know my son would so enjoy it! Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

Heather @MySweetMission.net

Monday 22nd of February 2016

Thank you Jenny for linking up this amazing Creamy Taco Pasta at the Creative Muster Party, our family LOVES tacos too! It looks absolutely delicious and your pictures are fantastic! We hope you'll stop by Tuesday night at 6 pm EST to party with us again. Your post is one of my #FavoritePosts this week, so it's been shared on Instagram @MySweetMission. :) ~Heather