The Next Best Thing to Mac & Cheese: Taco Pasta Bake

By Mikka Wee/November 22, 2012

5708 2

When I put my pigface on, I find myself craving for pasta and tacos at the same time. I’m really fond of both dishes; that’s why when we thought of slapping both together into a single pasta dish, my eyes lit up like I just got a free pass to a 5-star buffet.

This Taco Pasta Bake is a curious alternative to your typical Bolognese or Carbonara. It combines the spicy flavors you’d find in a taco by having them dance merrily on a bed of cheesy penne. It’s quite spot on if you’re craving for something in between Mexican and Italian.

This is probably the next best thing to the classic Mac & Cheese. So it’s worth a shot if you want a bit of Nacho Libre vibes to your All-American meal.

Taco Pasta Bake

Total Time: 45 minutes / Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 250 grams whole wheat penne, uncooked
  • 250 grams ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Ortega taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup spreadable cheese (we used Laughing Cow)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Cook pasta as directed in package, set aside.
  2. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil.
  3. Add beef and cook for 3-5 minutes (make sure not to overcook).
  4. Season with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.
  5. Turn off fire.
  6. Toss together meat and pasta mixture.
  7. Mix in spreadable cheese.
  8. Transfer to a casserole. Top with grated cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake in preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  10. Serve.

Mikka Wee

Managing Editor

Mikka Wee is a happy little hobbit who loves to eat, but is allergic to exercise. Armed with a heart for travel, she likes to go on random adventures and book spontaneous flights. If she's not hunting for the next seat sale, Mikka likes to read, write in her blog, cuddle with her dog Rocket, and make sandcastles on the beach. See More.

  • Weena S.

    Tried this before on our leftover tacos, but I’ve used macaroni…

  • Garnet Joyce

    Do you drain the grease from the meat before seasoning?