This 30-minute Taco Pasta Recipe makes the perfect weeknight dinner! If you are a busy mom looking for a simple, quick, and healthy recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes, this taco pasta recipe is for you.
How many of you have ever been stuck in traffic after a late-afternoon meeting, wondering what to pick up for supper because it is your turn to carpool the kids to soccer practice?
Hi everyone, I’m Maria, and I am the content creator of She Loves Biscotti where I share some traditional family Italian recipes, as well as a few of my favorites I’ve collected over the years. As a professional dietitian and a working mom, I get that life can get a little crazy sometimes. Despite our best intentions to get a healthy supper ready for our family in a timely fashion, there are some nights where that just feels impossible.
But nothing is impossible!
Being busy should not stop us from having home-cooked meals.
As a busy mom, once I realized how to recognize those recipes that were truly easy dinner meals, I was able to focus during those late afternoon meetings. Here are some of the things I look for…
Definition of Easy Dinner Meals:
- QUICK TO MAKE: Anything that can be made in under 30 minutes makes it into this category;
- EASY TO MAKE: Any recipe that provides simple and clear instructions;
- TASTY: Any crowd-pleasing recipe, good for kids and adults;
- SIMPLE and VERSATILE INGREDIENTS: It’s great when a recipe calls only for ingredients you already have on-hand! What’s even better is being offered the chance to change up the ingredients and fit the recipe to your needs!
- HEALTHY: Bonus points when the recipe can provide some great nutritional value!
This taco pasta recipe is one of my favorite meals to make when I am short on time and energy. Let me show you how this is the perfect example of an easy dinner meal for the busy mom. Are you ready?
HOW TO MAKE THIS 30-MINUTE TACO PASTA RECIPE
Prepare Your Pasta:
The first thing we need to do is to bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil so that we can cook the pasta. We are looking for a full rolling boil. Make sure to cover your pot as this will speed up this whole process. While we are waiting for that to happen, let’s get started with the vegetables.
In order to maximize the taste, we are going to sauté the chopped onions in a tablespoon or so of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. My Italian background will dictate my preference for olive oil, but feel free to use whatever oil is available to you.
Stir the onions around as they begin to soften and caramelize –this should take 5 minutes.
By this time the water should be boiling; add your pasta and cook it according to the package directions. I will be using rotini that should be al dente in about 10 minutes. Feel free to substitute with any short pasta.
In the Skillet:
Meanwhile, let’s get back to our skillet while the pasta is cooking.
We are now going to add the chopped tomato and diced pepper to the softened onions. You can use any type of peppers that are available to you. I am partial to bell peppers, so that is what I will be using today. These two vegetables get to spend a couple of minutes together with the onions before we add the minced garlic, and some red pepper flakes (if using). Just wanted to mention that mushrooms and/or celery are definitely an option if you don’t have any peppers.
Next, add the lean minced meat and cook until no longer pink. Make sure to break up the pieces of minced meat as it is cooking. This should take about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the taco seasonings and about 1 cup of the pasta water. Thoroughly combine with the minced meat. Increase the heat and simmer vigorously, uncovered, for a couple of minutes.
Add Your Pasta:
By this time, the pasta should be al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the minced meat mixture. Make sure to properly combine together. Remember, do not rinse the pasta after you have drained it! You would be rinsing off the starchy pasta water that allows the other ingredients to stick to the rotini pasta.
We are almost done… just a few more minutes and the troops can gather around the table : )
Next, add the French dressing (homemade or commercial) and the black beans. Cook together for a couple of minutes and then just add the grated cheddar cheese and you are done.
Feel free to add chopped cilantro or parsley before serving this 30-minute taco pasta to your loved ones.
Time to call in the troops and enjoy a healthy home cooked meal together… at least for a little while before you are off to the next activity!
I would like to mention that for those evening where you do have a few extra minutes to spare on meal prep, here are some simple ingredients that can easily be prepared as terrific add-ins to this taco pasta recipe.
- crushed taco shells
- chopped avocado
- extra chopped tomato
- extra grated cheese
- corn niblets
- shredded lettuce
As an added bonus, this taco pasta recipe can be enjoyed hot or cold. If you are looking for some more taco recipes, be sure to check out this taco soup recipe.
So the next time you are stuck in traffic, you can breathe a little easier because you know that a healthy and easy dinner meal, in the shape of this taco pasta recipe can be enjoyed with your loved ones in less than 30 minutes.
30-minute Taco Pasta Recipe
- 8 ounces pasta rotini or other short pasta
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1/2 onion medium, chopped
- 1/2 pepper diced
- 1 tomato fresh, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 1 pound ground meat lean beef or veal
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup pasta water
- 1 cups french dressing homemade or storebought
- 15 ounces black beans canned
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- cilantro optional, for topping
- In a large pot, heat water over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chopped onion and stir frequently for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Next, add the diced pepper and chopped tomato and stir frequently for about 2 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Add the minced meat. Cook stirring to combine and until no longer pink. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
- Next, add the taco seasonings and 1 cup of the pasta water and simmer vigorously, uncovered, for 2-4 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready, drain the water and add the pasta to the skillet. Do not rinse the pasta. Combine thoroughly together.
- Add the French dressing and the black beans and combine together. Cook for just a few minutes until heated through.
- And finally, add the grated cheese and stir together until melted.
- Serve immediately. If desired, top with chopped cilantro or parsley.