Cheesy Taco Pasta Shells | | Mexican Recipes

Pasta is one of the foods in life that can be enjoyed so many different ways. And it tastes even better when covered in cheese! This quick and healthy recipe for cheesy taco pasta shells is an easy and quick recipe that is sure to please!

Since I was a little girl I have loved tacos. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t loved them. No matter what I have eaten since I’ve been able to eat on my own, I have always wanted a taco. That is, until I got married and had a spouse who doesn’t love tacos, and I had to learn how to cook them myself. I have made plenty of tacos over the years. Some tasted good, some not so much. It took me a long time to find the “right” recipe for tacos.

This healthy meal prep recipe is perfect for entertaining, quick dinners, or a fast and healthy weeknight meal. Taco shells filled with a cheesy, taco-seasoned filling that’s great on its own or when layered with other recipe ingredients.. Read more about cheesy taco pasta recipe and let us know what you think.

For a simple and kid-friendly pasta meal, combine spaghetti shells with ground meat, enchilada sauce, and shredded Mexican cheese.

Overhead view of taco pasta on a white plate.

I know this isn’t a traditional Mexican meal by any means, but every now and then I like to try something new and create dishes that my family loves. If you have fussy eaters, you understand what I’m talking about.

To make these Taco Pasta Shells come together fast for a busy evening, I’m utilizing some shortcuts like store purchased enchilada sauce.

Pasta Shells with Cheesy Taco Filling Ingredients

Pasta, ground beef, taco seasoning, cream cheese, red enchilada sauce, and shredded Mexican cheese are all used in this dish.

Pasta- I’m using a medium pasta shell, but elbows or penne would also work.

A protein pasta, such as Banza, or a gluten-free spaghetti are other choices. Cook the pasta according to the package directions before adding it to the meat mixture.

Try ground turkey or leave out the meat for a vegetarian version if you prefer a leaner alternative.

Horizontal view of pasta on a white plate with a gold fork on the side and a yellow bowl of pasta in the background.

(Makes 1 tablespoon) Taco Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a quarter teaspoon of salt
  • a quarter teaspoon of black pepper
  • a quarter teaspoon Powdered onion
  • a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder

I used half a block of cream cheese (4 oz) in this recipe. Since eliminating dairy from my diet, I’ve experimented with Vegan cream cheese and believe it’s a wonderful dairy-free alternative.

This is my recipe for Homemade Enchilada Sauce in red. However, I like this store-bought enchilada sauce for a fast fix.

Red enchilada sauce in a glass mason jar.

Shredded Mexican Cheese Mix- Finishing with a shredded Mexican cheese blend makes these Taco Pasta shells extra cheesy. The heat from the spaghetti properly melts it.

Taco Pasta Shells: How to Make Them

Begin by following the package instructions for cooking the pasta. Use the al dente pasta timings. Most alternative pastas need rinsing after cooking, so check the package instructions carefully.

Up close view of small pasta shells, ground beef, diced avocado, tomato, and sour cream on top.

Brown the ground beef in a big pot (I used my dutch oven) while the pasta is cooking.

Combine taco seasoning, cream cheese cubes, and enchilada sauce in a mixing bowl. Mix everything together until it’s completely smooth.

After that, add the cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Toss everything together and serve with avocado, chopped tomatoes, or sour cream as additional toppings.

Overhead view of thaco pasta on a plate with toppings and a side of pasta in a small yellow bowl with no toppings.

Is it possible to reheat the pasta?

Absolutely! If you have leftover taco pasta, keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days without the toppings.

Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. If the spaghetti is excessively dry, a few drops of milk can bring it back to life.

Check out these spaghetti recipes for additional inspiration:

Pasta with Vegan Salsa Verde

Clam Linguine with Chorizo Linguine

Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Overhead view of taco pasta on a white plate with a gold fork on the side.

Cheesy Taco Pasta Shells

Renee Fuentes is a model and actress.

For a simple and kid-friendly pasta meal, combine spaghetti shells with ground meat, enchilada sauce, and shredded Mexican cheese.

Time to prepare: 5 minutes

Time to cook: 20 minutes

25 minutes total

Course Description:

American cuisine

8 servings

calorie count: 386 kcal


  • Cook the pasta shells until they are al dente, as directed on the box.

  • In a large pan or Dutch oven, brown the ground meat. Add cubed cream cheese and Taco Seasoning to the meat. Combine until the cheese is melted, then stir in the enchilada sauce.

  • When the pasta shells are done, pour them into the ground beef mixture using a slotted spoon. The pasta water will aid in the thickening process.

  • Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded Mexican cheese mix until it is completely melted. To make the spaghetti creamier, add 14 cup milk if it seems to be dry.

  • Tomatoes, Avocado, Green Onion, Cilantro, Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream are some of the possible toppings.


Leftovers may be kept in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk to make the spaghetti creamier. Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe


calorie count: 386 kcal 30 g carbohydrate 19 g protein 21g fat 10g Saturated Fat 1 gram polyunsaturated fat 7g monounsaturated fat 1 gram of trans fat 69 milligrams of cholesterol 454 mg sodium 264 mg potassium 2 g fiber 4 g sugar 501IU Vitamin A 1 milligram of vitamin C 124 mg calcium 2 mg iron


If you want to make a quick and easy dinner, try our Taco Pasta Shells recipe. They’re delicious, very easy to make and totally satisfying.. Read more about taco pasta allrecipes and let us know what you think.

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Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.