Cheesy Taco Pasta is easy to make and tastes like the Hamburger Helper you used to eat as a kid except better. Much better.
Cheesy Taco Pasta is my nod to the hamburger helper I grew up eating as a kid. While this isn’t exactly the “crunchy taco hamburger helper” because I skipped adding the tortilla chips on top, the ooey gooey meat and cheese sauce is still the same and with just a few ingredients!
You can certainly add your own fresh vegetables to the mix instead of the salsa, but I used a good jarred salsa and it tasted fantastic. On occasion I’ve also used fresh salsa (I firmly believe that recipe is one of the best ever), but the higher water content of it makes the pasta more watery.
You can also make this Cheesy Taco Pasta as cheesy as you’d like. I added only a single cup of cheese, while some in my family will add additional piles of cheese to their plate. If you want your pasta to be really cheesy I suggest 2 cups of cheese.
You can also freeze this pasta for a later date. I’d skip adding the cheese and when you defrost it, use a cup of chicken or beef stock. Then once warmed through add the cheese, mix and serve.
- 1/2 pound large shells pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or 1 packet)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup jarred salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook the shelled pasta according to the directions on the box and drain.
- Add the ground beef to the pan and brown well.
- Drain the fat.
- Add the taco seasoning and ¾ cup of water, stir and cook until water is gone.
- Add the pasta back into the pot with the salsa and cheese.
- Stir to combine.
- Serve immediately, preferably with crunchy tortilla chips (optional) on top.