Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
Easy slow cooker taco pasta recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Full of tomatoes, Mexican taco seasoning, salsa, cheese, beans, corn.
I love a meal that I can put in the crockpot and forget about for awhile and when I get back I have a meal waiting. This is a tasty dinner the whole family can enjoy together. And next time, you can try these other great Mexican style recipes: Slow Cooker Taco Meat and Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup.
How to make slow cooker taco pasta recipe from scratch?
- Sauté- Beef, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
- Transfer mixture– To crockpot.
- Add in- Diced tomatoes, salsa, broth, taco seasoning, green peppers and mix.
- Cover and cook– Until beef is cooked through.
- Stir in– Dry pasta, corn, and beans.
- Cover and cook– Until pasta is done.
- Mix in- Shredded cheese until melted
- Serve– Immediately and enjoy.
What to serve with Crockpot cheesy taco pasta?
Breads- Various breads can soak up the sauce and compliment this meal, such as hard rolls, French bread, baguette, crusty artisan bread, or sourdough bread.
Salads- A simple green salad would do well with this pasta and balance out the carbs.
Variations for mexican pasta
Add some cream cheese– For some deep, creamy flavor, but be sure to add it in only at the end in order to prevent separation.
Make it creamy– By adding in cream cheese, heavy cream, milk, or coconut milk for your desired taste and consistency.
Try other cheeses– Such as mozzarella, Colby Jack, pepper jack, or another one of your favorites.
Try other beans– Such as red, black, garbanzo, or pinto beans.
Add other veggies– Such as mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, celery, asparagus, or peas. If you want to keep them from becoming over-cooked and mushy, add them near the end when dry pasta is added.
Use other meats– Such as shredded or ground turkey, Italian sausage, ham, shredded chicken, shredded beef, or steak bites. Using leftover meat is a great way to make this an even faster and easier meal.
Add some enchilada sauce– For added flavor and color.
Tips and techniques for cheesy pasta
Use low sodium ingredients– Because otherwise your meal will be overly salty and overpower the other great flavors.
Must use dry pasta- Because it absorbs the flavors, liquid and juices of the dish while also cooking the pasta.
May need to add more broth or water– To the pot at end if pasta is still not cooked through. If your pasta is still dry and liquid has run out you will have a crunchy, dry dish.
Drain canned beans– Because the crockpot keeps in an lot of moisture and if you put the can of beans in with all its juices the dish will be too watery.
Use diced tomatoes with green chilies– Because it adds color, flavor, and texture you won’t get from diced tomatoes alone.
Drain grease– Because you don’t want fatty juices swimming at the top of your dish or extra calories added in.
Down skip browning meat– Because it adds a better flavor and texture to the dish overall. Plus, you don’t want to risk uncooked meat.
Use freshly shredded cheeses– Because they don’t have preservatives and an odd subtle “graininess” that often comes in the pre-shredded kind. They just don’t melt as well or have the best texture. Fresh is best.
CANNOT USE SMALL MINI PASTAS or spaghetti– Because they over cook and become mushy! Use regular sized pastas like penne, rigatoni, spirals, bowtie, large shells, or ziti.
Use full fat cheese– Because you get the best flavor, texture, and creaminess from full fat as opposed to low fat cheeses that tend have a strange texture and melt like plastic.
Add a splash of water when reheating– Because this will aid in reconstituting the dish to be more like its original form and not so dry.
Use a multifunctional slow cooker– Because this will allow you to sauté the meat in the crockpot, using less dishes.
Storage of slow cooker pasta
Fridge- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 days and reheated in the microwave.
Freezer- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Then thaw and microwave.
More slow cooker pasta recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
- Slow Cooker Pasta
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Slow Cooker Lasagna (With Ricotta)
Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 pound Ground beef, I used much less this time because we have a fussy eater.
- 4 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1 cup Onion, Finely chopped
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1 can Diced tomatoes with green chilies, 14.5 oz. can
- 1 cup Salsa
- 2 cups Beef broth, Low sodium , May need to add an additional 1/2 cup broth or water if the pasta is too dry near the end
- 1/4 cup Taco seasoning
- 1 cup Green peppers, Washed, Finely chopped
- 1 box Pasta , 12 oz. box, Dry, Uncooked, Don't use spaghetti or mini pastas, Use medium shells, bowties, spirals, rigatoni or penne
- 1/2 cup Corn, Frozen
- 1/2 cup Canned beans, Drained, Rinsed, Use beans of your choice: red, black, pinto or a variety
- 1.5 cups Shredded cheese, Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese, Freshly shredded is best
- Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- Note: Use a multifunctional slow cooker that allows you to saute the meat the in the crockpot. This way, you won’t have to make another pot or pan dirty.
- Add beef, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and cook until meat is browned and no longer pink.
- Drain grease.
- Transfer this mixture to large crockpot (6.5 quart or larger).
- Add diced tomatoes, salsa, broth, taco seasoning, green peppers.
- Mix until combined.
- Cover and cook on High heat for 2-3 hours or on Low heat for about 5 hours or until beef is cooked through and tender.
- Stir in the dry pasta, corn, beans.
- Cover and cook on High heat for 20-30 minutes. Be sure to toss everything once halfway through. If the pasta is still looking dry and uncooked, you can mix in some more water or broth.
- Please note that your cooking time may vary, based on the brand, size and even age of crockpot you are using. For me, this was the best cooking time. For you, it could be higher or lower. Keep a close eye after 15 minutes.
- Finally, mix in shredded cheese.
- Cook uncovered on High heat for 5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 days and reheated in the microwave.