20 Minute Taco Pasta is such an easy one pot recipe. This tasty dinner is made in one skillet with ground beef and Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta. It's creamy, cheesy and full of great flavor that the whole family will love!
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Do you ever have nights during the week that just get away from you? We sure do. I think this is common whether you work in the home or outside of the home. Life gets crazy sometimes, especially when there are kids in the picture.
Each week, I plan our family's dinners for the weeknights. I try to leave a decent amount of wiggle room. So while it's not set hard-and-fast for every single day, I have a general game plan for the week and for the most part this works for us.
Still, there are always some nights where the day just got away from us and I can't imagine spending a whole hour cooking. And I say this as a gal who loves cooking! On those nights we often end up ordering take out or grabbing something from a drive-thru.
As I have mentioned previously, I'm all for moderation and I try not to beat myself up for subbing in these quick meal options once in a while. That being said, the reality still stands: nothing beats a home cooked meal!
So I go out of my way to find and also create recipes that can come together quickly but still taste delicious for those crazy nights when I just can't deal with making a big production out of dinner. And there are certain shortcuts that are significant in making quick but still delicious meals.
One such shortcut (and my new favorite shortcut!) is Barilla Pronto Pasta. The geniuses over at Barilla have created a pasta that allows you to create one-pot meals without having to wait for water to boil or drain the pasta! Talk about saving time in both cooking and dishes! One Pan. No Boil. No Drain. No problem!! I love you, Barilla!
You guys, the pasta itself literally cooks in 10 minutes, right there in the pan! I'm talking fantastic, al dente pasta that maintains its shape and texture beautifully! Barilla is definitely doing something right, so much so that this was selected for a Better Homes & Gardens Best New Product Award for 2016!
I already knew I loved Barilla products- I've been loving using them for years. Barilla is Italy's number one brand of pasta; it's an authentic Italian food brand and has no preservatives. I trust the quality that they bring to my meals, especially the wholesome, great taste!
So when this collaboration came about, Barilla challenged me to create a delicious one-pot meal to make for my family on these busy nights and to share with you! Naturally, I got excited and jumped right into this head first!
I initially considered doing something that is more of an authentic Italian pasta dish. But I love thinking outside of the box and so I began to brainstorm of dinners my family loves, the ones that do require a bit of work. My brain immediately went to taco night. Always a favorite in our home, but since we do our taco meat in the slow cooker, this isn't exactly a quick meal for us, not to mention all the chopping involved.
I immediately knew combining taco night with pasta night would be a an excellent decision, one which was met with great enthusiasm when I was testing this dish out on my family!
Why make this Taco Pasta recipe?
This 20 Minute Taco Pasta is so quick to make (hence the name) but it doesn't sacrifice any flavor. I went out of my way to minimize the amount of dishes to wash and to use ingredients that would pack this dish with robust flavor!
I love that you can easily throw everything together to cook. This was a hit with both the adults and the children in my family. Alice had so much fun pulling different ingredients from her plate and asking us to take those bites together ("now lets all take a pasta bite! How about a bean bite!"). Dinner was extra fun!This is the ideal dish for those busy nights where you cannot imagine making a huge mess and working over the stove for an hour. I was thrilled that I got to enjoy the extra time hanging out with my family instead of cooking and cleaning up all night!
Tips for making cheesy taco pasta:
- Use Barilla Pronto Pasta. This recipe hasn't been test with regular pasta, so while I'm sure it would work (though probably with a longer cook time) I make not guarantees.
- Prep all ingredients before you make this Taco Pasta. This is called a Mise en Place and it's a good idea to make every recipe run smoothly.
- Do not turn the heat down once you cover it. This is key for using this type of pasta.
- Feel free to add toppings once the pasta is cooked. Although this is great on it's own, in addition to green onions and chips, this would be awesome with some guacamole, sour cream, etc. The world is your oyster!
- Large saute pan
- Wooden spoon
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
Video Tutorial for making 20 Minute Taco Pasta
20 Minute Taco Pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ cup dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chiles (I used mild but you can always use spicy if you want a kick!)
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, undrained
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 box Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used sharp but this would also be delicious with mild)
- Chopped green onions for garnish
- Crumbled tortilla chips for garnish
- In a large saute pan, brown ground beef over medium high heat. Use a wooden spoon to break the beef up.
- While it's browning add dried minced onions, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
- Once beef is fully browned, add diced tomatoes, diced green chiles, tomato sauce, chicken broth, taco seasoning, undrained black beans and frozen corn. Mix well and bring to this to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, stir in Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta and cover. DO NOT TURN YOUR HEAT DOWN, leave it at medium-high.
- Cook covered for 8 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent sticking.
- Once you're at the 8 minute mark, stir in ½ cup cheddar cheese and then sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese over the top.
- Cover the pasta again and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Sprinkle with green onions and crumbled tortilla chips and serve immediately.
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