Some nights I just want an old-fashioned comfort food dinner. What comes to mind?  Pot Roast? Grilled Cheese? Hamburger Helper-Did your mom make that? My mom cooked every night and made great dinners for us, but there was the occasional “cheat night” and we would have Hamburger Helper. Now the thought of opening that box kinda makes me sick, but I still love the idea of the beefy, cheesy, pasta dish. So I have come up with a modern “fresher” version of the famed box dinner, but its just as easy-Taco Pasta!

Now lets be real-this is not a fancy dinner, but its quick and easy and the whole family will love it unless you are a kale eating vegetarian 🙂 You probably have all these ingredients in your pantry so if 5pm hits and you have NO idea what to make for dinner this is a great recipe. Note-I have a taco seasoning recipe but if you don’t want to make your own then just use one of those taco seasoning packets.

Hope you have a great week!


5 from 2 votes

Taco Pasta

Modern version of the classic old-fashioned hamburger helper. 

Servings 4


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 packet
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 lb. dried small pasta (macaroni, bow tie, spiral)
  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large, deep, lidded skillet heat oil over medium high heat.  Brown beef and onion until no longer pink. Drain. 

  2. Add taco seasoning, water, and salsa. Stir until combined. 

  3. Stir in pasta and make sure it is covered by liquid.  Add more water if necessary. 

  4. Bring to a boil and cover with lid. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. 

  5. Add half the cheese and stir into pasta. Add the remaining cheese on top and allow to melt. 

  6. Serve with traditional taco toppings-sour cream, avocado, pico de gallo...