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!
Why you’ll love it: This is an easy, hearty recipe that will be a hit with your family. It’s a cinch to adjust the recipe, too, so you can change anything that your family may not be a fan of.
How long it takes: 30 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large pan or Dutch oven
Today’s post is all about one pot pasta. In general, my life is all about making one pan dirty per meal. Perhaps that’s a fantasy or maybe a necessity. (It’s certainly an exaggeration. My life is about more than dishes.)
You’ll find several one pot pasta recipes (more than 20!) on my site but I thought it was time to combine two of my favorites: tacos and pasta. Who doesn’t like tacos and who doesn’t like pasta? It’s a win-win situation, right? And you can make this dynamic duo in one pan, and one pan only.
This recipe is based roughly on my homemade healthy hamburger helper recipe but with a southwestern spin. Ben absolutely loves 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 Recipe (and How To Make It Your Own)
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. The pasta cooks perfectly right in the sauce.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s super flexible.
- Not a ground turkey fan? Use ground beef, sausage, or spicy chorizo instead.
- Try different kinds of canned beans, like pinto beans or kidney beans.
- Want to add green power? Stir in baby spinach leaves.
- Turn up the heat. Sprinkle in a pinch or two of cayenne powder or red pepper flakes. Substitute Cajun seasoning for the taco seasoning.
- Perhaps you’re not a fan of whole wheat pasta. This recipe works great with regular pasta, too. Macaroni is perfect. Make sure to peek at the box to check cooking time so you don’t overcook your noodles.
- Do you like things extra cheesy? Add another handful of cheese. Do you really want to take the creaminess over the top? Once the pasta has finished cooking, melt two ounces of full-fat cream cheese into the pasta mixture. It’s so good!
That brings us to toppings which are my favorite part of almost any recipe. Top this one pot taco pasta just like you would a normal taco.
Here are my suggestions:
- Avocado or guacamole
- Green onions or chopped white onions
- Sliced jalapeño peppers
- Sour cream
- Shredded lettuce
- Extra cheese (cheddar, queso fresco, cotija)
- Chopped tomatoes
- Pickled red onions
Storage & Reheating Tips
Leftover pasta should be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for three to four days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for two to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat, warm individual portions in the microwave in one minute increments until heated. Larger amounts can be heated in a skillet.
Make a casserole. Put taco pasta in a greased pan, top with more cheese or crushed tortilla chips, and bake at 350 °F until lightly browned and heated.
More one pot pasta recipes
Love the idea of one pot pastas? Once you try these one pot pasta recipes, you’ll wonder why you ever made pasta the traditional way. Try some of these easy recipes:
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce – This recipe can very easily be adapted to make on the stovetop if you don’t have an Instant Pot.
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese or Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Marsala Pasta – Mmmm, elegant flavors but so easy!
- American Goulash – A classic recipe made in one pan
- One Pan Lemon Pasta With Sausage, Dill, and Asparagus – Lemon pasta fans, this one’s for you!
- One Pan Rigatoni With Creamy Red Wine Tomato Sauce
- Cajun Chicken Pasta – creamy and gently spicy!
- Be sure to take a look at my collection of 15 One Pot Pasta recipes!
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan (#5). You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- ½ cup chopped onion (1 small onion)
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk see note)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
- 3 cups uncooked whole wheat rotini (or another short pasta)
- 1 can (15.25 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained (low-sodium preferred)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Optional garnishes: avocado, lettuce, tomato, green onion, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, etc.
- In large sauté 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, about 1 minute. Make sure to keep stirring so the tomato paste does not burn.
- Add water, milk, and tomatoes. Stir well and bring to nearly a boil.
- Add pasta, stir, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 8 to 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; stir in black beans and cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately topped with any taco garnishes you love.
- 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, omit the milk and use 3 cups (total) water.
- If you prefer, use ground beef, chicken, sausage, or chorizo instead of ground turkey.
- If you have taco seasoning in your pantry, substitute it for the seasonings listed in the recipe: chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. I suggest using 1½ to 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, based on taste. Try my homemade taco seasoning — no weird ingredients.
- To reduce sodium content, use no-salt-added tomatoes, tomato paste, and black beans.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.