This Taco Pasta Bake, made with salsa, ground beef, corn, beans and cheese, is baked using a streamlined no-boil method that makes getting this dish on the table hands-off!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese, cubed
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 (16-ounce) chunky tomato salsa
- 1 lb. medium shells
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 3-4 cups water or chicken broth (see note)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Cilantro, sliced, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add beef and salt and cook until no pink remains, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and taco seasoning and cook for 2-4 minutes until the tomato paste turns a deep red. Shut off the heat and stir in the cream cheese until it fully melts.
- Place a 9x13 baking pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Add in the uncooked pasta, cooked ground beef mixture, salsa, black beans, corn, 3 cups water, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar to the baking pan and mix until well combined. Make sure most of the pasta is submerged. If not, add ½ cup more water at a time until it is. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil, and transfer the rimmed baking sheet and baking pan to the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes covered. Remove the foil and continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes until the middle of the pasta is bubbling and the cheese is melty.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken up during this time period. Serve warm with cilantro.
Use a salsa that you enjoy the taste of since it’s a big part of flavoring this dish!
Baking this in a baking pan on top of a baking sheet is to prevent anything from bubbling over and scorching the bottom of your oven. While nothing ever bubbled over during the testing phase, it’s better to be safe than sorry with baked pasta dishes!
Depending on the type of pan you use, and the type of pasta, you may not need all 4 cups of added water/chicken broth. Start with 3 cups, and after everything is mixed together, see if all the pasta is submerged (a few pieces barely sticking out is ok). If needed, add more water to make sure the pasta is submerged, up to 4 cups total.
Keywords: Taco Pasta