This slow cooker taco pasta is an easy cheesy dinner the whole family will love. Whip up a big batch today!
Can I just begin by saying I'm really out of practice when it comes to photography?
Seriously, I struggled hard to take photos of this recipe. It's hard to shoot slow cooker recipes, especially pasta with no colour that pops out.
It's all good though. I managed and some recipes are so tasty we can overlook the lack of fancy photos. Am I right?
What I love about slow cooker recipes is that you can just toss everything in a giant pot and go live your life. No muss, zero fuss. I dig that!
And if I'm being honest, it really flows with my laziness level during the sheltering in place point of 2020. Anyone else been a bit lazy lately?
Crock pot pastas are easy to make, not to mention they're actually super tasty. This slow cooker taco pasta is always a hit with family and friends.
This taco pasta was inspired by Fake Ginger's Taco Pasta. Hers looked so good I just had to make my own version of it. Honestly, everything she makes looks delicious, especially her drinks.
Let me know if you get a chance to make this. I'll be sharing an instant pot version of taco pasta in the coming weeks too. I mean, you can never have enough pasta in your life!
For the Pasta:
- Ground Beef - You can swap ground turkey or chicken if you prefer either of those. Personally, I love the flavour of beef.
- Broth - I used beef broth for this recipe but you can substitute vegetable broth easily.
- Taco Seasoning - You can use store bought or make your own.
- Peppers - I used green and red peppers in the original recipe but you can use any kind of peppers. I'm a sucker for red peppers.
- Onion - Sweet onions are my favourite. I'm partial to Vidalia onions. Spanish onions would be great in this too.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic if possible. Also, use as much as you want. The more, the better in my humble opinion.
- Pasta Sauce - I used jarred pasta sauce but you could also use diced tomatoes.
- Cream Cheese - I'm a huge fan of Philly cream cheese but use any brand you love.
- Dried Pasta - For this recipe, I used dried medium shell noodles. Cook them prior to adding them to the slow cooker.
- Cheese - I used shredded cheddar cheese. Feel free to substitute whatever kind of cheese you love.
Optional Garnish Options:
- Sour cream - Including sour cream in your garnish options is a must!
- Peppers - Chopped up peppers are especially good on taco pasta.
- Onions - Not only do they add flavour, but they look good too.
- Salsa - Whether you make your own or use store bought, salsa is an amazing garnish for this pasta.
- Avocado - Again, not only does slices avocado taste great but it looks impressive.
- Cheese - Extra cheese adds more flavour as well as an added pop of colour.
- Parsley or Cilantro - Honestly, if you hate cilantro you can use parsley. Lots of folks have an aversion to cilantro.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pasta:
- First, brown the ground beef in a skillet until browned. Drain excess fat and rinse.
- Then, add that cooked ground beef to your slow cooker.
- Next, add the beef broth, taco seasoning, onion, peppers, garlic and pasta sauce to the slow cooker. Stir really well then place the lid on.
- Turn the slow cooker on the low setting and cook for approximately 3 to 4 hours.
- Add the cream cheese, place the lid back on, and then cook for another 30 minutes. Give the mixture a stir.
- Then, add the pre-cooked pasta noodles and the shredded cheese. Place the lid back on and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until cheese melts. Give it a good stir once it's done.
- Next, transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add some parsley or cilantro.
- Scoop into individual bowls and garnish with whatever makes you tummy happy!
How to Store:
- Allow the pasta to cool down before storing.
- Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Can it be Frozen:
- Yes, this a great freezer-friendly recipe. It freezes beautifully.
- Make sure you allow the pasta to cool completely if freezing it.
- You can store in an airtight container or freezer bags for about 2 to 3 months. Personally, I like to use mine within about a month.
Tips for Reheating Pasta:
- Your first option is to reheat this in the microwave by adding some water or broth to it before heating it up. Stir the pasta halfway through. Add more liquid if needed.
- Your second option for reheating this is to do it on the stovetop. Honestly, this is the preferred option. Again, add extra liquid to the pasta before heating it up. This will keep it moist and allow it to reheat perfectly.
More Dinner Ideas:
- Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu
- Easy Cheesy Pasta Bake with Sausage and Peppers
- Sloppy Joe Casserole
- Pizza Pull Apart Bread
- Slow Cooker Huli Huli Chicken
- 30 Minute Chicken Vegetable Skillet Pasta
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Smoked Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
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Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 14 oz beef broth
- ¼ cup taco seasoning
- 1 large green pepper chopped
- 1 large red pepper chopped
- 1 large sweet onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 24 oz pasta sauce
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 6 cups medium shell pasta cooked
- 12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- chopped peppers
- parsley or cilantro
- Brown your ground beef in a skillet or pan until browned. Drain excess fat and rinse.
- Now pop that into your slow cooker.
- Add beef broth, taco seasoning, onion, peppers, garlic, and pasta sauce the slow cooker. Give it all a really good stir. Place the lid on.
- Turn the slow cooker on the low setting and cook for about 3 to 4 hours.
- Add the cream cheese place lid back on, and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Next, add the pre-cooked pasta noodles and the shredded cheese. Again, place the lid back on.
- Cook for 20 to 30 minutes more, basically until the cheese melts. Give it a good stir.
- Transfer slow cooker taco pasta to a large serving bowl and add parsley or cilantro as a garnish.
- Scoop into individual size bowls and let everyone go nuts with the optional garnish.
- Serve with a big old pasta loving smile!
Thanks for visiting today!
If you’re looking for more dinner recipes be sure to check out my recipe index. You can also find a lot more slow cooker recipes as well.
Be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you’re here. I love pinning great recipes! Also, make sure you follow me on Instagram. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the blog.
i have wanted this magazine for a while and i just haven't gotten around to subscribing yet! it would be awesome to win this giveaway!
I like you on facebook! (Leah Zebovitz)
Going to follow this blog, especially after seeing this recipe, this has my husband written all over it!
And I liked you on facebook! 🙂
Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.
Mmmm, taco pasta! This looks excellent, Kim!
Thanks Tina! No worries, I partied for days. Well my idea of partying is eating not drinking but still, got a total sugar high going on. It's a great magazine. Thanks for stopping by and if your number comes up I shall redraw. Thanks again.xx
Thanks. Me too!
Woot wolf whistle!
Thanks, always happy to have a new follower. This is a real manly meal. My dudes loved it.
Thanks Stephanie! xx
Love your blog. happy birthday month!
Tasty looking pasta, Kim! Awesome giveaway too...would surely like a yr subscription of Bon Appetit!
I am following you on Twitter via @PinayInTexas...