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26 February 2016

This taco pasta recipe is so easy, noodles tossed with ground meat and tomato sauce seasoned with flavorful taco seasonings. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Pasta pasta pasta! There is always room for a great pasta recipe on the menu.

When we traveled to Italy not long ago, we enjoyed all manner of pastas. There is a wonderful variety of shapes and forms and sauce combinations.

We flatly ADORE Italian cuisine. But as you know, we ALSO adore Mexican cuisine and figured, what would happen if we made pasta, spaghetti in this case, the way we make pasta at home, but instead of typical Italian ingredients, we used Mexican ingredients?

Behold! A Taco Pasta recipe!

I hesitate to call this a Mexican-Style recipe because that would be a traditional “Fideo” recipe, which is a Mexican pasta made with Fideo noodles, and really more of a soup, where you actually toast the noodles in oil before cooking them in your tomato sauce and seasonings.

This is very close in flavor and profile, and just as delicious. But yeah, it’s different.

Let’s talk about how we make the recipe, shall we?

Creamy Taco Pasta Recipe

Taco Pasta Ingredients Needed

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped – Use bell peppers for a much milder version of this recipe, or go with hotter peppers to spice things up!
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork or spicy Mexican chorizo – or you can prepare this with chicken or ground beef
  • 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes – or use the equivalent of fresh chopped tomatoes (just cook them down nicely)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons favorite hot sauce if desired
  • 3 tablespoons Taco seasoning – Or use an equal blend of Spanish Paprika, Ancho Powder and Cayenne Powder with a few extra sprinkles of Cumin.
  • 3 tablespoons or more as desired Crema or sour cream
  • 16 ounces Fideo noodles – or sub in spaghetti or vermicelli noodles, though the recipe works with most noodle types. Use what you love!
  • Cotija cheese for serving

How to Make Taco Pasta – the Recipe Method

First, heat a large skillet or pan to medium high heat and add jalapeno, onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.

Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring.

Add ground pork and brown on each side. Break it up and cook it most of the way through.

Add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring to a very slight boil then reduce heat to simmer over medium low heat.

Add cilantro, hot sauce (if using) and seasonings and stir to incorporate. Simmer about 20 minutes or so to allow flavors to develop.

Cook pasta noodles to al dente, boiling about 12 minutes in salted water. Add a couple of spoonsful of the pasta water to your sauce and stir. Be sure to follow the directions on the product label, depending on the noodles you are using.

Remove sauce from heat and stir in the Crema or sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss with noodles and top with shredded Cotija cheese.

BOOM! Done! Great stuff, isn’t it?

Recipe Notes

  • The Noodles. You CAN use Fideo noodles if you can find them, but if you can’t, use spaghetti or vermicelli noodles.
  • Fresh Ingredients. Start with the freshest ingredients you can find. If you’re out of tomatoes, canned tomatoes are fine.
  • The Seasonings. I also used a mixture of seasonings – Cumin, Spanish Paprika, Ancho Powder and Cayenne Powder – but to make things easier, use your favorite taco seasoning mix.
  • Ground Meat Options. I like to use ground pork or chorizo, or sometimes a combination of both for this recipe. However, it is very good with either ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef.
  • Make it Creamy. I wanted this to be nice and creamy, so I swirled in several tablespoons of Mexican crema at the end, and yeah, it worked. Nice and creamy. Use sour cream if you can’t find crema. Either will do.
  • Make it Cheesy. Definitely add the cotija cheese over the top. If you’re looking for an extra cheesy taco pasta recipe here, add more cheese or sub in a bit of melty cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack cheese. 1/2 cup or so should do it, but you can easily use extra. Extra cheesy for me, please!

We’re super happy with how this turned out. I used ground pork for this recipe. The sauce flavors seriously develop the longer you let it sit. You can make this with other meats as well, like chorizo, chicken (ground, chopped or shredded), pork shoulder, or ground beef.

As a topping variation, try crumbling tortilla chips over the top or serve with additional crema.

Add more peppers for some heat! This had a good spice level. Making this again in the near future for sure. It’s so quick and easy. I love easy!

Creamy Taco Pasta Recipe

Patty’s Perspective

I love how unique this recipe is. It looks exactly like your typical Italian spaghetti, but the flavor is totally different. My exact words to Mike after one bite. “Um, you can make pasta this way ANY TIME you want.”

Try Some of My Other Popular Spicy Pasta Recipes

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS.Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Taco Pasta Recipe

This taco pasta recipe is so easy, noodles tossed with ground meat and tomato sauce seasoned with flavorful taco seasonings. A perfect quick weeknight meal.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Mexican
Keyword: pasta, recipe, spicy
Servings: 8
Calories: 396kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork or spicy Mexican chorizo - or you can prepare this with chicken or ground beef
  • 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes - or use the equivalent of fresh chopped tomatoes (just cook them down nicely)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons favorite hot sauce if desired
  • 3 tablespoons Taco seasoning – Or use an equal blend of Spanish Paprika, Ancho Powder and Cayenne Powder with a few extra sprinkles of Cumin.
  • 3 tablespoons or more as desired Crema or sour cream
  • 16 ounces Fideo noodles - or sub in spaghetti or vermicelli noodles
  • Cotija cheese for serving

Instructions

  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and add jalapeno, onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
  • Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
  • Add ground pork and brown on each side. Break it up and cook it most of the way through.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring to a very slight boil then reduce heat to simmer.
  • Add cilantro, hot sauce (if using) and seasonings and stir to incorporate. Simmer about 20 minutes or so to allow flavors to develop.
  • Prepare the noodles to al dente, boiling about 12 minutes in salted water. Add a couple of spoonsful of the pasta water to your sauce and stir.
  • Remove sauce from heat and stir in the Crema or sour cream.
  • Toss with noodles and top with shredded Cotija cheese.

Notes

This makes a good 6-8 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 13.5mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

 

Taco Pasta

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