Taco mac and cheese is the perfect combination of two favorites!

Ground beef, cheesy pasta, and taco seasonings come together in one skillet for a meal that’s both comforting and exciting.

This fusion recipe, where zesty tacos meet comfort food mac and cheese, creates a brand new hearty, cheesy classic!

A serving of taco mac and cheese in a bowl.

Cheesy Taco Pasta Recipe

  • This one-skillet dinner goes from the stovetop to the tabletop in less than 30 minutes!
  • Budget-friendly taco mac and cheese is the perfect casserole dish for using up leftover bits of veggies and cheese so even the kids won’t notice!
  • This easy to double recipe can be cooked once and enjoyed all week long for workday lunches and even quicker dinners!
macaroni , beef , broth , salsa , cheese, milk and seasoning to make Taco Mac and Cheese

Ingredients Needed!

Meat – Ground beef, Italian sausage, chicken, or turkey can be used. Or stretch the budget and use half meat and half black beans!

Pasta – Elbow macaroni is the classic mac and cheese shape, but shells, short penne, and even orzo are good substitutions!

Cheese Sauce – A little bit of milk, cheese, and taco seasoning blends into a light and creamy sauce! Zest it up with a little bit of buffalo sauce, Tabasco, or Cajun seasoning! Buy salsa or make your own and adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.

Variations – Add in some chopped spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, or diced bell peppers. A few sliced jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives, and bacon bits work, too!

How to Make Taco Mac and Cheese

Kraft mac and cheese doesn’t have anything on this zesty homemade recipe!

  1. Brown and drain ground beef.
  2. Stir in taco seasoning and water (per recipe below) allow to simmer.
  3. Mix in macaroni, broth, milk, salsa, and simmer uncovered until thickened.
  4. Stir in cheese.
  5. Add toppings and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions

Taco mac and cheese goes great with a quick tomato salad, a cucumber radish salad, or even a simple green salad with sliced strawberries. A tangy lime Jello salad makes an interesting pairing, as would bacon-topped green beans, or some oven-roasted veggies .

Top taco mac and cheese with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole for more delish flavor!

close up of Taco Mac and Cheese in a pan

Storing Taco Mac and Cheese

Keep leftover taco mac and cheese in a covered container for up to 4 days and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Since macaroni doesn’t thaw well once frozen, it’s recommended not to freeze leftovers. Why not scoop them into a taco shell, or over a salad, and make a whole new fun meal?

More Mac And Cheese Love!

Have you tried this Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!

bowl of Taco Mac and Cheese with pan full in the back
5 from 23 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Taco Mac And Cheese

Make this quick and easy taco mac and cheese fusion recipe, blending two favorites into one zesty, cheesy and delicious entree!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound ground beef cooked and crumbled
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • ¼ cup water more if needed
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth more if needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • toppings as desired

Instructions 

  • Brown ground beef in a large 12-inch skillet until no pink remains.
  • Drain fat and add the taco seasoning and ¼ cup water. Simmer 2 minutes.
  • Add macaroni, broth, milk, and salsa. Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender, adding more water or broth as needed
  • Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Top with desired toppings and serve.

Notes

  • Onion or garlic can be added to the beef before browning if desired.
  • Use freshly shredded cheese so that it melts easily into the dish.
  • Stir gently to avoid breaking up the noodles.  
  • Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave
5 from 23 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 1533mg | Potassium: 722mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1360IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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A serving of taco mac and cheese in a bowl with text.
Top image - a bowl of taco mac and cheese. Bottom image - taco mac and cheese being prepared in a frying pan with text.

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