One-Pot Taco Mac and Cheese

Published Date: January 3, 2023

Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese is packed with tasty flavor using easy ingredients in just 30 minutes, a great meal option for those busy weeknights!
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A blue dutch oven filled with taco mac and cheese.

This Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese is packed with tasty flavor using easy ingredients in just 30 minutes, a great meal option for those busy weeknights! Enjoy it with garnishes such as sour cream, crushed corn chips, and diced tomatoes!

You may also love our easy Taco Pie recipe made with layers of ground taco meat, cheese, and tortillas!

A blue dutch oven filled with taco mac and cheese.

Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese is an easy one-pot meal that the whole family will devour any night of the week! With just 10 minutes of prep and simple ingredients, you’ll have a meal on the table that you can be proud to serve!

Since this easy taco mac and cheese recipe is made with just one pot, it saves you clean-up time! Less time in the kitchen preparing and cleaning means more time with your family, even on those busy days!

All About This Taco Mac and Cheese

Taste: Ingredients such as taco seasoning, salsa, cheese, and garlic powder combine for a pasta dish that’s packed with mouthwatering flavor! Though this dish isn’t spicy, you can easily add simple ingredients to kick the heat up a notch if you’re looking for a spicier meal!

Texture: Perfectly cooked pasta mixes with tender ground beef in a sea of creamy, cheesy goodness! Making for an easy-to-eat taco recipe that will have everyone asking for seconds!

A close up photo of taco mac and cheese on a spoon.

Choose The Meat!

Not only will you love how quickly this delicious One Pot Taco Mac and Cheese meal comes together, but you’ll also appreciate how flexible the meat choice is! Though this recipe is made with ground beef, you can easily swap it out for what you have on hand.

Making it easy to use up what you already have on hand without running out to the store for ingredients! Swap the ground beef out for ground turkey, sausage, pork, or shredded chicken.

Regardless of what meat you choose to make this recipe with, you can still count on everyone cleaning their plates!

Flavor Tip: Use your favorite taco seasoning mix, whether it’s store-bought or homemade. Whatever your family typically enjoys will ensure they enjoy this delicious mac and cheese recipe!

A blue dutch oven filled with taco mac and cheese.

Kitchen Tips For Making The Best Taco Mac and Cheese

  • Spice It Up – For a dish with a mouthwatering kick of heat, you can exchange the salsa for rotel! Jalapeno peppers, cayenne, or hot sauce could also be mixed into this recipe to bring some additional heat!
  • Cheese – I made this recipe using shredded cheddar cheese but feel free to experiment or use your favorite cheese! A combination of Colby jack cheese and pepper jack cheese would be a delicious variation!
  • Creamy Consistency – This taco recipe gets its creamy consistency from a combination of cream cheese and shredded cheese. However, if you prefer to leave the cream cheese out, you can still obtain a creamy dish by adding in a half cup of heavy cream instead.
  • Garnishes – Arrange garnishes in small bowls! This way, friends and family can pick and choose how they want to finish off their bowl of taco mac and cheese! My family loves garnishes such as green onions, diced tomatoes, chopped avocado pieces, sour cream, crushed corn chips, and additional shredded cheese.

Check out these step-by-step photos showing how to make Taco Mac and Cheese from scratch. Scroll down for the full recipe and ingredients.

Step by step photo collage showing how to make taco mac and cheese from scratch.

How Do I Store Leftover Taco Mac and Cheese?

Transfer any leftover Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Leftovers can then be enjoyed for up to 5 days.

To store for longer, place the leftovers in the freezer and use them up within three months.

What’s The Best Way To Reheat Leftovers?

Leftovers can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave until they’re thoroughly heated. It’s best to add a little more beef broth while reheating to help incorporate the ingredients together again.

If you’re reheating from frozen, I’d first suggest allowing the leftovers to defrost before reheating fully. This will give the pasta a better texture!

Can I Still Make This Recipe If I Don’t Have A Dutch Oven?

Absolutely! Instead of using a Dutch oven to make this recipe, you can just use a deep skillet with a lid.

Is There A Substitution For Beef Broth?

Yes, an equal amount of chicken broth can be used in place of beef broth.

Overhead photo of a blue dutch oven filled with taco mac and cheese.
A close up photo of taco mac and cheese on a spoon.

Taco Mac and Cheese

Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese is packed with tasty flavor using easy ingredients in just 30 minutes, a great meal option for those busy weeknights! Enjoy it with garnishes such as sour cream, crushed corn chips, and diced tomatoes!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: taco mac, taco macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 663kcal

EQUIPMENT

  • Dutch Oven
  • Wooden spoon

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cups beef broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning or a (1oz.) packet
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups medium pasta shells uncooked
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 cups shredded cheese divided
  • sour cream optional topping
  • crushed corn chips optional topping
  • green onions optional topping
  • diced tomatoes optional topping
  • avocados optional topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it is soft and translucient.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small white onion
  • Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper, and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns.
    1 pound ground beef, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Once browned, drain the fat and stir in the beef broth, salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pasta.
    2½ cups beef broth, 1 cup salsa, 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3 cups medium pasta shells
  • Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and allow to cook for about 15 minutes over low heat, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes or so. Remove the lid. If the liquid is absorbed, you can move to the next step. Otherwise, leave the lid off and cook for a few more minutes to allow the extra moisture to steam off.
  • Remove from heat and add the cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheese (reserve the other cup of cheese to use as a topping). Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
    4 ounces cream cheese, 3 cups shredded cheese
  • Once the cheese is fully incorporated and you're ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Serve with sour cream, corn chips, green onions, diced tomatoes, and avocados on the side as well as any other desired toppings.
    sour cream, crushed corn chips, green onions, diced tomatoes, avocados

NOTES

  • How To Store Leftovers: Transfer any leftover Stovetop Taco Mac and Cheese into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Leftovers can then be enjoyed for up to 5 days. To store for longer, place the leftovers in the freezer and use them up within 3 months.
  • How To Reheat Leftovers: Leftovers can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave until they’re thoroughly heated. It’s best to add a little more beef broth while reheating to help incorporate the ingredients together again. If you’re reheating from frozen, I’d first suggest allowing the leftovers to defrost before reheating fully. This will give the pasta a better texture!
  • Can I Still Make This Recipe If I Don’t Have A Dutch Oven? Absolutely! Instead of using a Dutch oven to make this recipe, you can just use a deep heavy-bottomed skillet or pot with a lid.
  • Is There A Substitution For Beef Broth? Yes, an equal amount of chicken broth can be used in place of beef broth.
  • Can I Use A Package Of Spicy Taco Seasoning In This Recipe? Yes, feel free to make this recipe using whatever package of taco seasoning that you like!

NUTRITION

Calories: 663kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1383mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 919IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 348mg | Iron: 3mg

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Gabby Hubbell Family Busy Family Recipes Author

From one busy family to another, I see you.

Hi, I’m Gabby! From crockpots to one-pot recipes, we’re eager to make dinner time a breeze for you and your family. Follow along for recipes even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy time and time again!
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