This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is the kind of easy weeknight dinner you'll find yourself making again and again. Your family will love the combination of bow-tie pasta with seasoned ground beef, a creamy, cheesy sauce, and taco toppings!
When it comes to easy dinners, it really doesn't get much better than this Instant Pot Taco Pasta. I think it checks all the important boxes: it comes together in under 30 minutes, kids love it, it's super filling, and it's absolutely delicious.
I mean, with taco meat, a creamy sauce, plenty of cheese, and taco toppings, how can you go wrong?!!
If you've never made pasta in your Instant Pot before, this might just be the recipe to make you a believer!
Can You Put Uncooked Noodles in an Instant Pot?
The short answer is yes! This is one of the things I love most about cooking pasta in an Instant Pot. There's no need to boil the noodles ahead of time; instead, they cook right along with everything else. If you made this Taco Pasta on the stovetop, it would definitely be a two-pot recipe. (And who wants to have to clean two pots? Not me!)
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Lean ground beef – Ground turkey or even a plant-based ground beef substitute could be used instead if you prefer.
- Beef broth
- Farfalle pasta – Also known as bow-ties!
- Fire-roasted tomatoes – While regular diced tomatoes are fine too, I like the smoky flavor of fire-roasted.
- Black beans
- Diced green chiles – You can buy these mild or spicy. Use whichever you like!
- Taco seasoning – Use store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
- Cream cheese – Let this come to room temperature so it’s easy to incorporate into the sauce.
- Taco blend shredded cheese – Cheddar, Monterey jack, or pepper jack can be used instead.
- Salt and pepper
- Optional toppings – Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, green onions, or anything else your family likes on tacos.
How to Make Instant Pot Taco Pasta
Ready for a Tex-Mex inspired comfort food dinner? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Cook the beef and onions. Coat the bottom of your Instant Pot with cooking spray. Set it to sauté mode and add the onions and ground beef. Sauté the beef until it’s fully cooked and the onions are tender, approximately 6-8 minutes. Cancel the sauté mode.
Add more ingredients. Pour in the beef broth and use it to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir in the pasta, tomatoes, beans, green chiles, and taco seasoning, then push the pasta down into the broth so it’s completely submerged.
Cook. Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to sealing. Cook on manual pressure for 5 minutes. Depending on your model, your Instant Pot may take up to 20 minutes to reach pressure and start cooking.
Vent. Once the cooking is complete, use the quick release to vent the pressure before removing the lid.
Finish. Stir in the cream cheese and taco blend cheese. Once the cheeses are melted and incorporated, season the pasta to taste and transfer it to a serving dish with your favorite taco toppings.
Tips for Success
This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is easy, but these tips will help you make it perfect!
- Season to taste. If you use store-bought taco pasta, it’s fairly high in sodium, so don’t add salt until you taste the finished pasta. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s added!
- Don’t swap in another pasta shape. Using a different shape of pasta may change the cooking time; because you can’t check for doneness in an Instant Pot like you can on the stovetop, I recommend sticking with farfalle.
- Keep the pasta from clumping. Make sure you give everything a good stir before cooking so the pasta doesn’t all stick together at the bottom of the Instant Pot.
This is one of those fantastic one-dish dinners that doesn't really need any sides, but if you have a big family, big appetites, or simply want to stretch this dinner to two days, serve your Instant Pot Taco Pasta with:
Of course, a simple salad dressed with fresh lime juice and and olive oil works, too. I also love pairing Tex-Mex dishes with watermelon slices sprinkled with flaky sea salt, cilantro, and lime zest.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover Instant Pot Taco Pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave until warmed through.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes! This Instant Pot Taco Pasta freezes well. Just place leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Easy Pasta Dinner Ideas
- One Pot Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
- Olive Garden Stuffed Shells
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- non-stick cooking spray
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 pound farfalle pasta
- 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- 3 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups taco blend shredded cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, green onions (optional for serving)
- Spray bottom of instant pot with cooking spray. Set to sauté mode and add onions and ground beef. Sauté until beef is fully cooked and onions are tender, approximately 6-8 minutes. Cancel the sauté mode.
- Add in beef broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot, removing any of the stuck pieces from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add in pasta, tomatoes, beans, green chiles and taco seasoning. Stir to combine. Using your wooden spoon, push the pasta down into the broth to be sure it is covered before you seal the lid.
- Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to sealing. Cook on manual pressure for 5 minutes. Your instant pot may take up to 20 minutes to reach pressure and start cooking.
- Once cooking is complete, use the quick release to vent the pressure and remove the lid.
- Add in your cream cheese and taco blend cheese, stir until melted. Taste and see if you need to add any salt or pepper.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with your favorite garnishes.
- Store bought taco seasoning has salt in the ingredients. Taste your finished Taco Pasta to see if it requires additional salt before serving.
- You can use other cheese for this pasta dish. Consider Monterrey Jack for a bit of a kick.
- Leftover Instant Pot Taco Pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then microwave until warmed through.
Oh, heavens, was this dish delicious. It's a comfort food perfect for any time of year and the kiddos loved it.