Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet

A pot of taco pasta skillet with a wooden spoon stirring it.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Weeknight Meal30 minutes
This one pot Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet is comfort food at its finest! Serve it up topped with sour cream and fresh, minced cilantro.

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Let’s talk creamy taco pasta skillet! This recipe. Y’all, this recipe is pretty much my idea of comfort food. I love mac and cheese, pizza, and ice cream as much as the next gal, but if I need comfort, a big, steaming bowl of this spicy, creamy taco macaroni is where I’ll go every. single. time.

We probably eat this taco pasta skillet at least once a week. Not only is it super delicious and good for you, but it also comes together in a flash. This is one of those one pot wonders that leaves your belly full and your kitchen clean. It’s the perfect dish to eat on a crazy school night.

A pot of pasta and beef sits in a silver pan and is stirred by a wooden spoon.

Wait, do I really need to add THAT much water?

When you go to make this, you’re probably going to think I’m a little crazy, because at one point, I tell you to put three whole cups of water into the skillet. You’ll stir it around, and it’ll look like the pasta and other ingredients are drowning in a lake. It’ll look like it will never, ever come together to be the creamy taco macaroni skillet you see in these photos. You’ll get nervous. But fear not.

After a few minutes of boiling, the macaroni softens and absorbs some of the liquid, and the sauce becomes super rich, velvety, and, well, dreamy. We can call it dreamy, right?

Two bowls of the taco macaroni skillet sit on a white background. Two spoon sit nearby on a white napkin.

What else makes the sauce of this taco pasta skillet so creamy?

The second part of getting the sauce to be creamy is a cup of full fat coconut milk (the stuff that comes in the can). It lends just a little bit of sweetness, and a ton of velvety texture to the dish. If you don’t have coconut milk around, you can also sub in about half a cup of plain Greek yogurt. Just make sure to let the dish cool for a few minutes before mixing the yogurt in. Greek yogurt tends to break down and get clumpy and lumpy if it is mixed with too hot of food. Just take the pan off the burner for 5-10 minutes before you mix your yogurt in, and you should be good.

What if I don’t have macaroni noodles?

If you don’t have elbow macaroni, you can substitute in any other small pasta instead. Larger noodles may not cook through well enough in this recipe, but other small noodles should be just fine!

A pot of pasta and beef sits in a silver pan and is stirred by a wooden spoon.

How do I make this taco pasta skillet meet my dietary needs?

If you’re a vegetarian or gluten-free or dairy-free, this taco macaroni skillet will take a lot of adaptation and keep on keepin’ on. Leave out the beef and instead try lean ground turkey, more beans, or even cubed tofu. Use gluten-free pasta if that’s your bag. And if you don’t top the dish with sour cream, you’ve got a totally dairy-free dinner. Adapt away!

Pasta, black beans, beef and other ingredients cook together in a silver pan. A wooden spoon stirs the mixture.

 
Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet

Creamy Taco Pasta Skillet

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This one pot Creamy Taco Macaroni Skillet is comfort food at its finest! Serve it up topped with sour cream and fresh, minced cilantro.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or make your own
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese, minced cilantro, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook until just tender and fragrant, about five minutes. Add in the ground beef, and cook until browned.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, black beans, taco seasoning, water, and elbow macaroni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is done and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk. Spoon into bowls and top with desired toppings.

Notes

Feel free to sub in plain Greek yogurt for the coconut milk. Just make sure you remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before stirring in the yogurt, or it will separate.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 683Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 480mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 17gSugar: 5gProtein: 40g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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16 Responses
  1. Terri Achmann

    Love the new pan! Stainless is awesome, and I do love my ceramic-coated cast iron pots/pans too… This taco-inspired meal is making me hungry NOW! I have always done a sort of Italian version of this (no cream, lots of oregano, tomatoes, etc) but we are due for a change, especially during this never-ending winter (we continue to smash our cold temp records here in SW Ontario). Thanks!! 🙂

  2. Did they send you their pieces for free? That would be such a fun perk of cooking for a living. I too love the look of these pans. My fiance and I have been creating wedding registries and I may need to hunt these babies down. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Natalie

    Saw this on your blog this morning and headed to the grocery store for ingredients! I’m in grad school and need easy recipes that I can eat for the week. This is great and so delicious!
    Thanks!

  4. Katie

    Can’t wait to try this! You mention you avoid plastic in your kitchen. We are becoming more aware of what we use too, but I’m wondering about food storage. We’ve always used Tupperware style containers. I’m wondering what you use for food storage for leftovers or extras? Thanks!

    1. Cassie

      We use glass Pyrex, GlassLock, and Mason jars. The lids are still plastic on the Pyrex and GlassLock, but the glass is what is actually touching the food (and what it is microwaved in). We love them! We’ve been using the same ones forever, and they are still great. Our Pyrex lids are starting to split, but they’ve lasted MUCH longer than any plastic storage containers we’ve ever had.

      Pyrex: https://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Storage-10-Piece-Clear-Blue/dp/B00005B8K5/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=batohero-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=TDKJBX4UDS7YAPWB&creativeASIN=B00005B8K5

      GlassLock: https://www.amazon.com/Glasslock-18-Piece-Assorted-Oven-Container/dp/B00LN810PM/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=batohero-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=GAFM43JM54JJMZTX&creativeASIN=B00LN810PM

  5. Sally

    I made this last night and WOW. Just WOW. I was a bit reluctant to use the coconut milk but it is an inspired addition. Thanks for this gem of a recipe Cassie!

  6. Rachel

    Love the looks of this! No coconut milk or greek yogurt on hand – but I have reg plain yogurt, 2% milk or almond milk. Suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Cassie

      You could just strain the regular yogurt through a fine seive or cheesecloth and make your own Greek yogurt. 🙂

  7. Carrie

    I generally love your recipes, but this one just didn’t work. I followed your instructions but it never became creamy. It was really bland and came out more like a goulash. Very disappointing.

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