Taco Pasta

By Meghan McGarry
Mexican meets Italian in this comforting pasta dish. Filled with loads of fresh flavors and topped crushed tortilla chips, this will definitely become a go-to dinner!
  • Course: Dinner
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INGREDIENTS

  • bell pepper
  • chili powder
  • cilantro for garnish
  • Cloves garlic
  • Cream cheese
  • diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • Dried Oregano
  • ground cumin
  • lean ground beef
  • olive oil
  • onion
  • pasta
  • Salt and pepper
  • shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • tomato paste
  • tomatoes
  • tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a 5 Qt. dutch oven of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 5-quart jumbo cooker over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes. Add onion (reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish), garlic, bell pepper, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and dried oregano, and cook until onion and pepper are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and green chilies, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, allowing everything to simmer together.
  4. Add cream cheese, cooked pasta and about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir together. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the pasta is coated. Taste to adjust seasonings and add remaining 1/4 cup of pasta water if necessary.
  5. Turn off heat and sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover with lid and let stand for about 5-7 minutes, allowing the residual heat to melt the cheese.
  6. Right before serving, garnish with crumbled up tortilla chips. Toss diced tomatoes with remaining onion and cilantro, and layer on top of tortilla chips.