One Pan Taco Mac and Cheese [Video]
One Pan Taco Mac and Cheese is made with ground beef, taco seasoning, macaroni, and cheddar cheeses. It is creamy, delicious, and LOADED with cheese! A perfect and super easy dinner ready in just 30 minutes!
We have plenty of easy one-pan dishes. They all require a few ingredients and are ready in under 30 minutes. Check out my delicious Ham and Cheese Pasta, Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts, and Taco Tortilla Roll-Ups.
Easy Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe
Are you looking for an easy recipe with some Tex-Mex flavor in it?! Then this delicious One-Pan Taco Mac and Cheese is the ideal combination. It is the perfect dish to experience some taco flavor combined with pasta and melted cheese. This is what I call a truly happy and comfort meal that will satisfy both kids and adults alike.
Also, this recipe is quite special because it is so rich and creamy, that we keep going back to it over and over again. You cannot go wrong with any dish that has melty cheese, hearty ground beef, and a creamy Tex-Mex inspired. When these ingredients are combined, you are sure to end up with one hearty and delicious meal.
In addition, you can prepare this cheesy dinner ahead of time to make for even easier weeknight prep. This one-pan meal is kid-friendly, quick and easy to prepare, and also budget-friendly.
Also, feel free to make a HUGE batch if you are hosting a larger crowd, or simply want to store it for later. It stores well, and it will taste even better in the next days! Give it a try and you will see why this is our favorite Tex-Mex recipe!
How to make One Pan Taco Mac and Cheese?
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown the beef.
- Next, add in the onion, garlic, jalapeno and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, the liquids, and the taco seasoning, stir well.
- Then, add the pasta, and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to simmer, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check the pasta to be cooked to your liking. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pan. You can also add some black beans if you desire.
- Once the pasta is cooked and the liquid is gone, turn off the heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese, along with your other favorite cheeses. Stir until it is melted and creamy.
- Top it with some chopped green onions, cilantro, or more shredded cheese, and enjoy!
How to make Taco Mac and Cheese in the oven?
If you prefer to make it a casserole-style, this is equally delicious. You will simply need to bake it instead.
- First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 by 13 baking dish with some oil or cooking spray.
- Then, add the cooked pasta mixture to the pan, and top it with some shredded cheese.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the dish is cooked and has a nice light-brown color, and the cheese is melted.
- Serve warm!
What vegetables can I add to Taco Macaroni and Cheese?
This is a very versatile dish, and you can add-in pretty much any of your favorite veggies. Some of my favorite ones are broccoli, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, or peas. However, feel free to add what you like. It goes well pretty much with everything!
Can I make it with other meats?
Absolutely! Feel free to add other meats. You can add in-ground or cubbed chicken breasts, ham, pork, or turkey. The cooking time will not change. Also, if you are not a meat lover, feel free to skip it altogether, and double on the beans, or add some tofu as well.
How to store it?
- You can make it in advance and store the dish in the fridge for up to 3 days. Similarly, if you end up with leftovers, transfer it to an airtight container, and then store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To freeze it, simply let it cool prior to freezing. Then, transfer the pasta to a freezer-safe dish, and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat prior to serving.
- If you prefer, feel free to use only one type of cheese. Also, feel free to combine with other types as well. Some of my favorite ones to mix in are sharp cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, and Monterey jack cheese.
- Also, since this dish has plenty of Mexican flavors, I like toping the Taco Mac and Cheese with tortilla chips, taco sauce, sour cream, shredded lettuce, salsa, and jalapenos.
- To make a larger batch, use a larger skillet, and simply double the ingredients.
- In addition, for a spicier kick, feel free to add some chopped chili peppers, or jalapenos when cooking the beef.
One Pan Taco Mac and Cheese is made with ground beef, taco seasoning, macaroni, and cheddar cheeses.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- 1 ounce package taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups elbow noodles
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Crushed tortilla chips
In a large skillet brown the ground beef over medium heat, drain off any grease.
Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and stir.
Add broth, cream, and taco seasoning. Stir.
Increase heat to medium-high until the mixture begins to simmer.
Stir in macaroni and reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. If needed add more broth.
When noodles are tender stir in shredded cheddar cheese.
That looks amazing! I am hungry right now and this is making me drool! I definitely need to make this! YUM!
This will be perfect for dinner one night! I am so going to make it. We love our taco stuff.
This One Pan Taco Mac and Cheese looks really appetizing! I would love to have this for dinner tonight. I’m sure my family will love this, too!
Shelley R Zurek
I like that you included recipe tips and variations. THis makes a big difference and helps people realize that a recipe like this can be flexible.
Hi Shelly. Thanks for your feedback. We try to include the tips as it helps with the process and answers the questions.
This would have been perfect to make for dinner tonight. This recipe looks really yummy, I can’t wait to make it for my family.
Putting two favorites together = THE ULTIMATE!!! Sounds and looks insanely tasty!
I am tasked with helping provide dinner for after my daughter’s swim meet next week. I think this recipe would be perfect to feed that crowd. Saving now! Thanks!
My kids are going to love this! Two of their favorite dinner recipes combined! And I’m going to love the easy part!
My niece is a mac and cheese lover! Oh, and me too of course. This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to taste it. Wish me luck!
We love taco over here, but we’ve never tried taco mac and cheese before. I bet it’s as good as it looks. Nom!
Wow, this sure looks amazing. I have been wanting to make new pasta dishes for my family. I’ll have to save this so I can make it later. Sure looks delicious!
Jenn @ EngineerMommy
I love tacos and I love mac and cheese. This dish sounds brilliant! I totally need to try your recipe this weekend!!
This looks amazing! I love anything that is only one pan! I absolutely hate to do dishes.
I love Mac & Cheese and would definitely try to give it a shot to your recipe! The taco mac & cheese looks incredibly delicious in your pictures and I bet it tastes divine!
This looks amazing! My daughter and I could love off mac and cheese and mix ins. She’s moving back to Chicago this month, so I won’t get to do any more mac and cheese meals with her.
That looks amazing! I love mac n cheese and Mexican food! What a great combination
This looks absolutely delicious. I’m going to be making this soon
I don’t have cream or half & half… could I use 2% milk or evaporated milk? That’s all I have on hand other than cream cheese. 😂
I don’t have any cream or half and half. Can I use 2% milk or evaporated milk? That’s all I have on hand other than cream cheese 😂
Hi Stephanie. Yes, that should work as well.