I love cooking pasta in my Instant Pot. It’s so easy and quick and my family always devours it when I make it. There are so many ways you can make it in the Instant Pot. My family’s favorites include my Cheesy Beef & Bowtie Pasta, my Cheeseburger Mac, and my Beef and Macaroni Casserole.
This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is my latest venture into the Instant Pot Pasta world and my family approves! It’s so easy to make and has simple ingredients that I usually have on hand. It’s definitely gotten me out of a pinch when I’m short on time on busy weeknights.
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Taco Pasta Is the Perfect Family Meal
My kids love pasta, and they love it when I make it in the Instant Pot because I can have it ready in no time. They really enjoy putting their own toppings on this Taco Pasta, this way everyone gets what they want and there are no complaints.
My nephew, who helped us with the video for this recipe, says that when he was editing the video he couldn’t stand looking at the image of the pasta anymore because he wanted to eat it again!! He’s one of my official taste testers, so that tells me the recipe is a winner!
What Kind of Beef Is Best?
I love the convenience of cooking this pasta dish in the Instant Pot and that includes the fact that it’s a one-pot meal, no draining of the pasta and in my case, no draining of the meat either. Some of you may ask why I don’t drain it. The reason is simple, I always buy ground sirloin which is typically 93/7 or 90/10, meaning it has little fat content so there’s no need to drain.
You don’t have to buy ground sirloin though. You can make this Instant Pot Taco Pasta with almost any kind of ground meat you like. It’s perfect with turkey, chicken, and ground beef. If you use a higher fat content beef, then I recommend you drain the fat after browning it.
Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances
Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Prep Tools & Utensils
Since this recipe is essentially a one-pot dump meal with a few simple ingredients, you’ll need very few utensils and cleanup will be minimal.
- You will need a dry ingredient measuring cup to measure out the taco seasoning. I’m all about space savings in the kitchen and always try to purchase utensils that will help me make the best use of my drawer and cabinet space. A good set of stackable measuring cups is a must for any space-conscious kitchen.
- For the beef stock, you’ll need a 4 cup liquid measuring cup. I’ve had this large measuring cup for years and it’s been great.
- When cooking the ground beef, you’ll want to use a wooden or silicone spoon to break up the beef into smaller and smaller pieces as it cooks. I always use this pretty aqua spoon. I love it because it does what it’s supposed to do and it matches my kitchen.
Appliances & Cookware
Instant Pot Accessories
Make sure to check out my post on Must-Have Accessories for the Instant Pot. You’ll find a complete list of all the top accessories that can be used with your Instant Pot.
What Kind of Toppings Are Good With Taco Pasta?
Oh, the possibilities are endless! Just think of what you like to put on tacos and go with that. We love topping our Instant Pot Taco Pasta with cheese, avocado, pico, cilantro, and sour cream. Yummy!
If you need to save even more time, then just serve the pasta as is, straight out of the pot, with no toppings. It is absolutely delicious! I usually take the few minutes that it takes the pasta to pressure cook to prep the toppings, but I have also served it alone and it’s gobbled up just the same!
If what you want is an easy, quick, and delicious meal that your family will love, look no further! This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is it.
I know you and your family will enjoy this recipe! I’d love to hear in the comments when you try it.
Whether you’re an Instant Pot beginner or you just like to follow visual step-by-step instructions, you’ll want to head over to my How To Make Instant Pot Taco Pasta post. There, you’ll find detailed instructions along with some other great tips and suggestions.
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
Pasta, ground beef, tomatoes, and chiles flavored with taco seasoning
- Press the 'Sauté' button on the Instant Pot. Ensure that the 'Sauté' heat level is set to 'More' and allow the pot to warm up for a few minutes. As soon as the digital display reads 'Hot', add the ground sirloin to the pot and sauté continually breaking up the meat into equal pieces until it is fully cooked.
- Add the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes with juices, and green chilis to the Instant Pot and mix them into the ground beef. Continue cooking for another minute.
- Cancel the 'Sauté' function, then add the beef stock to the pot and mix it into the meat.
- Layer the pasta on top of the beef and, using a large spoon, gently push it down into the beef stock so that most of it is submerged and damp.
- Close the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and then set the pot to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook', High Pressure with a cook time of 3 minutes. Once the cook time has completed, allow for a 2-minute natural pressure release (NPR).
- Release any remaining pressure after the two minute NPR has completed. Open the pot and then mix in the cheese until it has fully melted into the pasta.
- Serve and enjoy!
While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.
Some things you should know about this Instant Pot Taco Pasta recipe.
Don't mix in the pasta. Don’t mix the pasta into the other ingredients. Using a spoon or spatula, gently push the pasta down into the beef stock until most of it is damp and slightly submerged in the stock. That’s it!
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make this Instant Pot Taco Pasta recipe your own.
Better cooked beef. While it may be tempting, don’t put the ground beef in the pot until it reads ‘Hot’. I used to put the beef in too early and have noticed that if I just wait a few minutes and let the pot heat up until it reads ‘Hot’, my ground beef will cook so much better and faster.
Try different pastas. This recipe works great with farfalle (bowtie pasta) but should work just as well with elbow macaroni, shells, or rotini. You shouldn’t have to make any time adjustments with these smaller kinds of pasta. So feel free to mix it up.
Here are a few ideas for serving your Instant Pot Taco Pasta.
Top it like a taco. For even more taco deliciousness, top this pasta with a dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, shredded Mexican style cheese, and cilantro. A little hot sauce can liven this dish up even more.
Serve with a side salad. This pasta would be perfect served with a Tex-Mex inspired side salad. Just toss together some cherry tomatoes, avocado, black olives, purple onion, corn, and cilantro and then spread over a bed of romaine. Lightly top with a Southwestern or Lime dressing and enjoy.