Cheesy Taco Skillet

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This super tasty taco skillet, is full of ground beef, pasta and heaps of cheesy flavor!

With just a handful of ingredients, this creamy pasta dish is a family favorite. In less than 30 minutes, plates will be piled high with piping hot cheesy goodness!

Cheesy taco rotini in a skillet with a serving spoon

Easy One-Pot Meal

This meal is made in just one pot meaning that both cooking and cleanup are so simple.

This skillet can be easily modified to suit any family’s preferences. There’s no need to make a trip to the store, just grab a few ingredients from the cupboard, and get cooking!

The fact that it tastes like delicious homemade tacos with none of the fuss makes it even better.

Ingredients for Cheesy taco skillet on the counter in bowls

Ingredients & Variations

GROUND BEEF Beef can be easily subbed out for ground turkey or chicken. For a vegetarian version, just cook up some lentils to add instead of meat! Season with taco seasoning.

CHEESE Velveeta cheese is one of those that adds creamy comfort to meals! If you don’t have (or want to use) Velveeta, add in some cream cheese and handful of any other favorites like cheddar, nacho, jalapeno jack, or marble.

SALSA Salsa pulls the whole thing together, and eliminates the need to cut onions! Use your favorite store-bought salsa or try this homemade salsa or a can or drained tomatoes with chilis (like Rotel).

PASTA This taco skillet recipe calls for pasta and any medium pasta will do! I love the way the cheese clings in the spirals of rotini so it’s my first choice in this recipe.

Combining meat and taco seasoning with pasta in a skillet

How to Make a Cheesy Taco Skillet

There are just a few steps to this (and only one pan needed).

  1. Brown the meat and drain any fat.
  2. Add the seasonings, pasta, water and salsa. Simmer until pasta is tender (no need to drain).
  3. Stir in the cheese until melted and creamy.

That’s all there is to it. For extra flavor, sprinkle with your favorite taco toppings!

Tips for a Perfect Pasta Skillet

Skillets always taste great, but we got some tips that make sure it’s perfect!

  • I use lean ground beef in this recipe (80/20). Be sure to drain any fat before adding the pasta.
  • The pasta cooks with the beef in water and salsa and there is no need to drain.
  • You may need to add a bit more water, you want it to be a little bit saucy before adding the Velveeta.
  • Vegetables can be added in the last little bit of cooking the pasta. Peppers and corn are great in this recipe.
  • Cube the cheese to make melting easier. If substituting the Velveeta, add in some cream cheese for a creamy sauce along with some shredded cheeses for flavor.

Adding Velveeta to a Cheesy taco skillet

For leftovers, seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to four days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight, and serve with biscuits, cheesy breadsticks, or inside taco shells!

Easy Pasta Skillet Recipes

Did you love this Cheesy Taco Skillet? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Cheesy taco rotini in a skillet with a serving spoon
5 from 7 votes
Review Recipe

Cheesy Taco Skillet

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This easy cheesy taco skillet is the perfect one-pot meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • ¾ cup salsa
  • 3 ½ cups medium pasta such as penne or rotini, uncooked
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese cut into ½-inch cubes

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef until no pink remains. Drain fat.
  • Stir in taco seasoning.
  • Add water, salsa, and pasta. Bring to a boil reduce heat and cover.
  • Simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is tender adding more water if needed.
  • Once pasta is tender, add cheese and stir until smooth and creamy.

Recipe Notes

 
  • I use lean ground beef in this recipe (80/20). Be sure to drain any fat before adding the pasta.
  • The pasta cooks with the beef in water and salsa and there is no need to drain.
  • You may need to add a bit more water, you want it to be a little bit saucy before adding the Velveeta.
  • Vegetables can be added in the last little bit of cooking the pasta. Peppers and corn are great in this recipe.
  • Cube the cheese to make melting easier. If substituting the Velveeta, add in some cream cheese for a creamy sauce along with some shredded cheeses for flavor.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 641, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 101mg, Sodium: 1310mg, Potassium: 779mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 830IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 367mg, Iron: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cheesy taco skillet, easy pasta skillet, how to make a taco skillet, Taco Skillet
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Cheesy Taco skillet ingredients in pan with writing
Cheesy taco skillet being served shown with writing
Taco skillet ingredients in a pan with writing
Top image - prepared taco skillet. Bottom image - taco skillet ingredients. with writing
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Can I double this recipe and use a pot instead of a skillet? I’m always unsure about doubling recipes some turn out and some don’t. Thanks

    1. While I haven’t tried doubing this recipe, I think that would work. I’d suggest stirring half way through since there will be more pasta. Let us know how it goes if you tyr it Kristen!

  2. We made this tonight, and it was very tasty. My 13 yr old daughter was the cook, and the recipe was easy for her to follow. I think we will be having this again sometime soon.5 stars

  3. We don’t have velveeta in the UK but I subbed it for 200g philadelphia and 100g cheddar/red leicester and it was perfectly velvety and smooth. I discovered your website recently and have cooked a fair few of your recipes and they have all been winners! Yet another one to add to my repertoire.5 stars

  4. Made this with chicken and fajita seasoning because i didn’t have beef and taco spice. but it was amazing. This may go in the picky little eaters favorite list and she usually hates everthing that isn’t a hotdog.5 stars

  5. Made this for supper last night and it was a hit! I made it with gluten free noodles and had a can of Rotel that needed to be used so I used that in place of some of the salsa! But such a delicious dish. So happy to have leftovers to enjoy this week!5 stars

  6. A “TACO” is a fried corn tortilla, filled with various mixtures, such as seasoned meat, beans, cheese, etc., then folded.  This definition does not apply to your recipe at all.

  7. Ummm I’m gonna try this recipe tonite, sounds tasty. Thanks to “Pin it” recipe I found on line. Thanks!!

  8. I am loving how easy this meal is to make!! My kids love those Velveeta Shells, so this would be perfect!

  9. I love how quick and easy this dish is! And I love how cheesy it is. Velveeta is great in meals like this! So creamy and delicious.

  10. I am SO down for anything that can be made in ONE POT because I am the worlds laziest food blogger and hate ALL THE DISHES. Plus, anything with Taco in the name is a winner! Pinned!

  11. Dear Holly, What a gorgeous one dish meal! I have several recipes that use Velveeta that everyone in our house loves. Can’t wait to try this delicious one pot meal!