Can’t decide between mac and cheese and tacos? Enjoy the best of both worlds with this taco macaroni and cheese. It’s a one pot, Dutch oven 30 minute meal boasting both Mexican and Italian flavours in every mouthful. It makes really satisfying comfort food and is a perfect meal for the cooler months when you are craving something hearty and warming. This one pot cheesy taco meal is sure to get rave reviews!
Taco macaroni and cheese is a simple 30 minute meal that you can make in one pot. South of the border flavours combine with cream cheese and pasta to make this hearty dish. It’s a brand new take on classic mac ‘n cheese.
Taco Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
The ingredients you’ll need include beef, onion, broth, salsa, taco seasoning, garlic, pasta, cream cheese, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Optional garnishes include crushed corn chips, sour cream, tomatoes, avocados, and tomatoes.
Feel free to make any substitutions you want, including another kind of ground meat in place of the beef, or even using leftover taco meat instead of the ground beef.
If you’re using a light protein such as ground chicken, you might also want to swap the beef broth for chicken broth.
You can also choose a spicy, medium or mild salsa – whichever suits your palate.
How to Make Taco Macaroni and Cheese
The first step in this one pot cheesy taco skillet is to heat some oil in a Dutch oven (or large pot) and then you can fry the onion in there, before adding the beef, and some salt and black pepper. Once there is no pink left in the meat, drain off the fat.
Stir the broth, salsa, taco seasoning, taco seasoning, and pasta shapes. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let it gently cook for about 15 minutes, stirring it occasionally. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed. This taco macaroni casserole is sure to be a family favourite!
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream cheese and some of the shredded cheese. Serve the mac and cheese with the remaining shredded cheese sprinkled on top.
Why Every Home Cook Needs a Dutch Oven
Although you can make taco macaroni and cheese in any heavy pot, a Dutch oven is a great option. This pot is heavy and made from cast iron. You can use it on the stove or in the oven and it’s ideal for pot roasts, braised dishes and taco macaroni and cheese of course.
Even if you tend to cook a lot in your Instant Pot, you’ll still find meat browns quicker and better in a Dutch oven. You can brown it in there and then transfer it into your Instant Pot. It’s also great for cooking pasta and making soup. You don’t even have to decant your meal from the Dutch oven into a serving dish, since Dutch ovens tend to look fancy. If there’s one pot you’ll always enjoy using, it’s one of these.
Some Dutch ovens cost upwards of $300 but that’s far from your only option. This 6-quart version is is priced at just over $50 which is a great price. If you really want to splurge, you’ll love this Le Creuset Dutch Oven. It’s pretty expensive at $350 though so perhaps just add it to your Amazon wish list around Christmas and hope for the best!
Taco Macaroni and Cheese FAQs
You can, since leftovers will be fine for 4 or 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove, adding a little more broth if needed.
This depends what kind of salsa you use, but if you do want to liven it up, you might like to add some fresh chillies, chilli flakes or hot sauce. If not, use mild salsa and don’t add any chillies. If some people like it hot, you can always offer hot sauce at the table so they can add their own.
One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
The BEST One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion small, diced
- 1 Pound ground beef
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- ¼ Teaspoon pepper
- 2 ½ Cups beef broth
- 1 Cup salsa
- 1 Package taco seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 Cups pasta shells dry
- 4 Ounces cream cheese
- 3 Cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- Use a dutch oven to heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the onion until it is soft. Then add the ground beef, salt and pepper . Use a wooden spoon to break up any chunks of meat as it cooks. When the beef is no longer pink, drain the fat out of the pan.
- Stir in the broth, salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pasta.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven and allow this mixture to cook for about 15 minutes, on low heat. Stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so. Remove the lid. If the liquid is absorbed, you can move to the next step. Otherwise, leave the lid off and cook for a few more minutes to allow the extra moisture to steam off.
- Turn off the heat and add the cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheese (leave the extra cup of cheese to use as a topping). Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
- When you are ready to serve the taco mac and cheese, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve with any other garnishes you choose.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Looking for a one pot 30 minute meal? If you’re a mac and cheese fan, I just know you’re going to love this mac and cheese with taco meat which pairs south of the border flavours with pasta and cheese for a delicious, fusion meal.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.