This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is a delicious, cheesy pasta recipe perfect for busy weeknights and weekly meal prep. Just add pasta, ground beef, salsa, cheese, and bell peppers.
Is it faster to make pasta in an Instant Pot?
When you cook pasta of any kind in an Instant Pot, it will save you time. You don’t believe that? To prove the point, let’s do some math.
It takes approximately 10 minutes for a stock pot full of water to come to a boil on a stove top. After you place the pasta into the water, it takes 10 to 12 minutes for it to cook to al dente. While the pasta is cooking in the pot, your pasta sauce will cook in a separate saucepan.
Oh, and let’s not forget about browning the ground beef! That is done in yet another pan, adding to the time you will spend washing dishes after the meal. Draining the pasta and combining everything together takes another 5 minutes.
So, the total cooking time to make cheesy taco pasta on a stovetop is roughly 26 minutes. Because those large pots won’t fit into a dishwasher, you will spend 15 minutes washing them.
The total time to cook taco pasta on a stovetop and clean up afterward is 41 minutes.
Cheesy Taco Pasta on the stovetop
You can also make this taco pasta on the stovetop if you don’t have an Instant Pot, but as noted above be warned that it will take a little bit longer!
You’ll first need to brown the ground beef and then add in all the liquids and pasta. Bring that to a boil, then cook for 15 minutes until the pasta has soaked up most of the liquid, then stir in the bell peppers, cheese, etc.
I prefer the Instant Pot method because you don’t have to stand over the stove the whole time but it’s up to you which method you choose.
Instant Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
When you make this Instant Pot taco pasta recipe, everything cooks in one pot.
You’ll spend 5 minutes browning the ground beef. After the remaining ingredients are added, it takes 12 minutes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure.
The cooking time for this taco pasta dish is just 3 minutes on high pressure! After a quick release of pressure, it will take another 5 minutes to finalize the pasta dish. The time to wash one pot (versus three) is 5 minutes.
The total time to make Instant Pot taco pasta and wash the dishes is just 30 minutes!
Can I use pasta shells instead of rotini?
Yes, you can use any shape of pasta that you or your kids love. Just keep in mind that it’s very easy for pasta to overcook in a pressure cooker.
For the best results, use pasta shapes that are medium in size. Elbow macaroni, shells, fusilli, and even small rigatoni are good substitutes
Can I substitute prepared taco seasoning?
When I make any type of taco recipe, I like to use homemade taco seasoning. If you want to use prepared taco seasoning, just measure out 1 tablespoon of seasoning from the package.
How to Freeze Taco Pasta for Meal Prep
I love taco pasta, so I usually freeze some into meal prep containers to have for lunches. If you want to freeze it, be sure that it cools to room temperature first. Store it in freezable containers with an airtight lid.
Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on using this cheesy taco pasta for your weekly lunches.
I get all my ground beef and free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh salsa
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth
- 1 lb dry rotini pasta
- 1 each red, green and yellow pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
- Press saute button and heat olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add onions and ground beef to Instant Pot, sauteeing for 4-5 minutes until browned.
- Stir in taco seasoning and garlic, then add chicken broth, salsa and rotini to the Instant Pot in that order, making sure to leave the rotini sitting on the top of all the other ingredients. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 10-20 minutes to come to pressure, then pressure cook for 3 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon, then open lid when pressure gauge has dropped and lid opens easily.
- Remove lid when safe to do so and stir in bell peppers. Replace lid and let sit for five minutes. After sitting for 5 minutes, stir in cheese and cilantro then serve and enjoy!