Full of bell peppers, onions, garlic, and topped with traditional taco toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cilantro, this Taco Pasta recipe is a great way to use leftover taco meat in a dish that your tastebuds will love!
We don’t always do Taco Tuesdays in our house, but when we do, one thing can be certain: we will have a LOT of leftover taco meat.
If you’re looking for a way to use up those leftovers, this is one of my favorite ways to give Taco Tuesday meat a second life. Try this super delicious, fast, and easy dinner recipe for Taco Pasta!
You basically cook the pasta in a large stockpot, then in a large skillet, you sauté up some onions, garlic, and peppers.
Add the leftover taco meat, which is already seasoned with your special delicious taco seasoning, and sauté more until the peppers are soft and the pasta is cooked.
Then you add the cooked pasta to the skillet and mix up all of those gorgeous ingredients together.
Top with a generous dollop of sour cream. DAIRY-FREE OPTION: I use dairy-free Tofutti sour cream and I love it.
Then top with freshly chopped cilantro – or parsley if you have that interesting gene that makes cilantro taste like soap to you. If that’s you: I am SO sorry. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to add to my recipes! I love it in SO many dishes! But parsley will do in a pinch, too.
Your New Fave Leftover Recipe
What you get in the end is a bright, vibrant, beautiful pasta dish that transforms that Taco Tuesday meat into a totally different meal that will make your tastebuds do the happy dance.
Then this is what the pasta looks like after you mix in all of that sexy sour cream (picture above). Is sour cream sexy? That’s probably not a debate I’d like to get into, but it’s Friday, people, so we’re going to say YES: sour cream, whether full-dairy or dairy-free, is totally a sexy addition to any dish. Especially this one.
Taco Pasta Recipe
- 1 cup uncooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers red, orange, and or yellow; I use a mix of all three!
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 finely minced garlic cloves
- Leftover taco meat - however much you have! I usually have about 1 to 1-1/2 cups worth.
- 1 14- ounce can of diced tomatoes
- Optional: sour cream shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro or chopped parsley
- Cook pasta according to package directions in a large stockpot.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped bell peppers, onions, and garlic to the pan. Sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring to ensure ingredients do not stick to the pan and also ensuring the garlic does not burn.
- Once the onions look slightly translucent and soft, add the leftover taco meat and sauté for another 1-2 minutes to heat the meat.
- Add diced tomatoes to the skillet and continue stirring and sautéeing for another 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes are heated.
- Drain the pasta, leaving approximately 3-4 tablespoons of hot pasta water in the pot, and add the pasta to the skillet.
- Stir the pasta until it is thoroughly coated with the tomato meat sauce. Add a tablespoon of the hot pasta water to the skillet as needed to help create more of a sauce.
- Once the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce, remove from heat.
- Top with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, and/or parsley if you wish. Serve immediately.
Have you ever made taco pasta with your Taco Tuesday leftovers before? What’s your favorite Go To leftover meal for taco meat/taco veggies?