Taco Pasta – One Pan, Healthy, 30 Minutes – With Video
In a rush? This 30 minute One Pot Taco Pasta with ground turkey and black beans is here to save the day! It’s creamy, satisfying, and the pasta cooks in the same pan as everything else!
I don’t know why I keep posting recipes I can’t eat during Whole30, but here’s another! Rest assured, I prepared all these a few weeks in advance of my Whole30 so it’s not pure torture. Only slight torture. Pure torture was baking three loaves of healthy banana bread and having the smell waft through my house for over an hour. Pure torture was preparing a homemade birthday cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting for my daughter…and not having even one lick of the frosting.
Pure torture was pretty much the theme of my Whole30. But I’m still glad I did it. Would you guys be interested in a post about how I felt and some tips for making it a little easier?
However, that’s for another day. Today is all about this one pot taco pasta. In general, my life is about only making one dish dirty per meal. Perhaps it’s a fantasy, perhaps it’s a necessity. This recipe is based roughly on my homemade healthy hamburger helper recipe, but I wanted to give this one a southwestern spin. Ben absolutely loved this; in fact, he said it was better than Hamburger Helper. Which I probably rolled my eyes at, because is that really a compliment? It’s like when he tells me that a dinner is better than a MRE.
About this taco pasta
The magic of this recipe is that the pasta cooks right in the pan with everything else. No need to boil water in a huge pot, no need to dirty a colander, no need for any of that nonsense. It’s ridiculously easy.
Tip: Can’t get down with whole wheat pasta? This recipe would work great with traditional white pasta. Make sure to peek at the box to check cooking time so you don’t overcook your noodles.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s super flexible beyond the basics. Not a ground turkey fan? Use ground beef…or chorizo! No red bell peppers in your fridge? Not a problem? Want to stir some spinach in? I won’t tell. Want to turn up the heat? Sprinkle in some cayenne powder or red pepper flakes. Do you like things extra cheesy? Add another handful of cheese!
Tip: Want to take the creaminess over the top? Once the pasta has finished cooking, let two ounces of full-fat cream cheese melt into the pasta mixture. It’s so good!
That brings us to toppings — my favorite part of almost any recipe. I used avocado and cilantro, because if we’re being honest (and I always am!), it’s what I had in my house the day I photographed this recipe. However, you can top this one pot taco pasta just like you would a normal taco.
Here are my suggestions:
- Green Onion
- Sour cream
- Extra Cheese (cheddar, queso fresco, cotija)
- Pickled Red Onions
Like the idea of one pot pasta?
I know I do! Once you try these one pot pasta recipes, you’ll wonder why you ever made pasta the traditional way. Put away that messy colander! Try some of these easy recipes:
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce – This recipe could very easily be adapted to make on the stovetop if you don’t have an Instant Pot.
- Chicken Marsala Pasta – One Pan! – Mmmm, elegant flavors but so easy!
- One Pan Lemon Pasta With Sausage, Dill, and Asparagus – Lemon pasta fans, here’s one for you!
- One Pan Rigatoni With Creamy Red Wine Tomato Sauce
- One Pot Pasta Recipes – Using only 5 ingredients, this collection from Kitchn looks amazing.
- Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta – Even Martha makes an easy recipe once in awhile!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk (see note)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 3 cups whole wheat pasta (I like rotini)
- 1 (15.25 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Optional garnishes: avocado, lettuce, tomato, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno
- In large saute pan with a cover (a large saucepan or Dutch oven will also work), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey, onion, and peppers and cook until turkey is browned and cooked through and onions are translucent, breaking up turkey as it cooks.
- Add tomato paste, flour, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Keep stirring until tomato paste coats all the meat. Make sure to keep stirring so the tomato paste does not burn.
- Add water, milk, and tomatoes and bring to nearly a boil.
- Add pasta, stir, reduce heat to medium, and cook with cover on for 8-10 minutes (use pasta directions as a guide) or until al dente, stirring occasionally to make sure pasta gets cooked evenly.
- Reduce heat to low and add black beans and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately topped with any taco garnishes you love -- I used cilantro and avocado, but lettuce, tomato, green onion, and jalapeno would also be terrific!
I recommend using whole or 2% milk because milk with lower fat percentage tends to curdle at a higher heat, which is necessary to cook the pasta. If you don’t have it, you could use 3 cups (total) water.
If you prefer, you could use ground beef instead of ground turkey.
If you have taco seasoning in your pantry, you could use it instead of the seasonings listed in the recipe: chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. I suggest using 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, based on taste. Try my homemade taco seasoning -- no msg or weird ingredients.
To reduce sodium content, use no salt added tomatoes, tomato paste, and black beans.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 of 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 852 Total Fat: 45g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 179mg Sodium: 1254mg Carbohydrates: 60g Fiber: 14g Sugar: 9g Protein: 60g
Husband’s take: Well, Ben loves it more than Hamburger Helper. So take that however you’d like.
Changes I would make: None are necessary but see my recipe notes for ideas!