This cheesy Taco Pasta Bake is loaded with a saucy ground beef and bean mixture and baked until bubbly. A hearty, comforting casserole for a busy day.
Can’t decide on Mexican or pasta? You can have both with this Taco Pasta Bake!
Like my Lazy Lasagna Casserole, this is another easy, family-friendly choice. I depend on these tried and true, old-school casseroles during busy times when I have lots of people to feed. The taco-inspired flavors make this one a real crowd-pleaser.
- It’s a budget-friendly recipe made with ground beef, dry pasta, and canned goods.
- This substantial casserole makes a good amount and appeals to all ages.
- It only takes about 15 minutes to assemble and it’s ready for the oven.
- It’s a freezer-friendly choice for an easy future meal.
I got this taco pasta casserole recipe from my sis a long, long time ago. The combination of Mexican flavors with pasta made a lasting impression and it’s still just as delicious today.
- Cooked pasta – I like to use campanelle, also sold as gigli pasta. Each piece has a ruffled edge that curls up to hold on to the sauce like little pieces of lasagna. A variety of other dry pasta like fusilli, penne, or rigatoni are also great in this. You want to cook the pasta a couple of minutes shy of the package directions since it will have some time in the oven too.
- Diced onion
- Minced garlic
- Ground beef
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Canned tomato sauce
- Taco seasoning mix – I always have some homemade taco seasoning in my pantry but you can use the store bought variety if you prefer.
- Canned black beans – Rinsed and drained.
- Canned diced green chiles – Drained.
- Shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese
- Green onions – Thinly sliced.
- For garnish – Cilantro and sour cream.
How to Make Taco Pasta Bake
While you boil the pasta in a separate pot, get started on the “taco” part of the recipe.
- Cook the ground beef, chopped onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until it is no longer pink. Drain as much grease from the pan as you can and return the pan to the heat. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced green chiles, black beans, and the taco seasoning mix.
- Simmer the taco mixture over low heat until the pasta is finished cooking.
- Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pasta pot. Add the taco mixture and a little of the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese.
- Transfer the taco pasta mixture to a large baking dish that you’ve coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and the green onions and bake at 350 degree F for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
Garnish the casserole with cilantro and more green onion once it comes out of the oven for a fresh burst of flavor.
Make it a Freezer Meal
You’ll be so happy to have a delicious meal like this waiting for you on a busy day. Just prepare the pasta mixture as directed and transfer it to a freezer-safe baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with heavy duty foil, crimping the edges tightly, and transfer the unbaked casserole to the freezer. I like to reserve the final layer of cheese to add just before baking.
To serve, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off. Top it with the final layer of shredded cheeses and bake the casserole as directed, increasing the time as necessary to heat it through if the casserole is still very cold when going in the oven.
More Easy Casserole Recipes You’ll Love
- Chicken Tortilla Casserole with Salsa Verde
- Pizza Pasta Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Bake
- Make-Ahead Manicotti
- Check out my entire collection of comforting casserole recipes.
Taco Pasta Bake
- 16 ounces dry pasta, campanelle, fusilli, penne, rigatoni
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix,
- 15 ounce can black beans, drained
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
- sour cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large baking dish or lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water a couple minutes shy of the package directions.
- Coat a large pan with nonstick cooking spray and place over MEDIUM heat. Cook the ground beef with onion and garlic, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks until it's no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan and return it to the heat. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, taco seasoning mix, beans, and diced green chiles. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to come to a low boil. Reduce the heat to LOW and simmer for five minutes.
- Drain the water from the pasta and return the cooked pasta to the pot it cooked in. Add the meat mixture and ½ cup of both the shredded Monterey jack and cheddar cheese (1 cup total). Mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and green onions. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Remove from the oven.
- Garnish the casserole with cilantro and serve with sour cream.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published February 2, 2013. It has been updated with new text and images.