This instant pot taco pasta recipe includes an added pack of protein with the addition of black beans. It’s a dish of warm comfort food that is both quick and easy and reminiscent of childhood.
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What Is Instant Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
I’ll admit that the first bite I took of this taco pasta dish reminded me of Hamburger Helper! It took me right back to my childhood, and back to college.
When Eric and I met, our goal seemed to be how to “cook” at home with the least amount of effort and ingredients. It involved a lot of things in boxes and large cans and just add meat.
Now, in our 40’s this has become a bit of comfort food for us when living in Spain. It’s 100% American, with ground beef, taco seasoning, and other pantry staples.
The black beans add a bit of a Southwestern flair to the cheesy taco pasta recipe. Most importantly, it’s quick to make without relying on a package of Hamburger Helper and all of the questionable ingredients located in that box.
Check out our other Instant Pot pasta recipes:
Cooking In An Electric Pressure Cooker
By cooking this recipe in an Instant Pot it just makes it a super easy taco pasta recipe. In addition to the time it takes to saute the beef and to pressurize the pot, it only takes 5 minutes in the electric pressure cooker. This makes it a nearly fool-proof weeknight meal.
Ingredients For This Instant Pot Taco Pasta Recipe
Almost everything in this recipe came from the staples we keep in our pantry at home. Although you can use diced yellow onions and minced fresh garlic, I actually prefer using onion powder and garlic powder so that the taco pasta is nice and soft.
The main seasoning comes from a package of taco seasoning. If you have a large container of taco seasoning, use about 2 tablespoons. I added crushed red pepper to add some heat, but this can be skipped if it’s too spicy.
The moisture in the recipe comes from a cup of salsa and low-sodium chicken broth. The salsa can be mild, medium, or even hot.
Any small, dried pasta will work, including small pasta shells or elbow macaroni. The black beans should be drained and well rinsed. If they are not well-rinsed then the extra black bean “juice” from the can might make the pasta dish darken in color.
Last, shredded cheese makes this a cheesy taco pasta. Any combination of cheddar or Monterey Jack works best.
How To Make Taco Pasta In An Instant Pot
Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. Add the olive oil and the ground beef.
Using a wooden spoon or meat chopper (like this one) break up the meat as it browns. When it is no longer pink (about 2-3 minutes), turn the Instant Pot off.
Add the onion powder, garlic powder, and taco seasoning. Stir in the seasoning. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Using a wooden spoon to scrape any bits of beef left on the bottom. This prevents the food from sticking and preventing a burn error on the pressure cooker.
Add the crushed red pepper and stir into the meat. Add the dried pasta, salsa, and the rest of the chicken broth. Stir to mix. Try to ensure the pasta is covered as much as possible by the broth so it cooks well
Add the black beans on top. There is no reason to submerge the beans within the water. They will cook just fine on the top./
Close the lid to the Instant Pot, lock, and seal. Set the Instant Pot to the Pressure Cook function and set for 5 minutes.
When the time is up, use an oven mitt or kitchen towel to immediately release the pressure. When the pressure valve drops carefully open the lid away from your face.
Add the shredded cheese and stir to warm and melt. If the cheese doesn’t melt quickly, put the lid back on the Instant Pot, but don’t seel it. The cheese will melt after a minute or two.
Tips For Cooking In An Instant Pot
We have the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1. It has a six-quart capacity, which is more than enough to cook for two people or for a small group. There is also an 8-quart option for families. For this recipe, use the saute function and the pressure cook function.
This recipe is easily enough food for four large portions or up to six smaller portions. For us, it’s enough for six meals, all made in the six-quart Instant Pot.
When cooking pasta in an Instant Pot, try to get as much of the pasta covered by the liquid to prevent it from drying out. That’s why I like to place the beans on top of the other ingredients. They don’t need to be submerged in the liquid when cooking.
Last, when the time is up on the Pressure Cooker, press the quick-release valve. If the taco pasta sits too long in the Instant Pot after it’s done, the pasta will get too soggy. Use an oven mitt or a towel to press the pressure release button. Be careful when the steam releases. Don’t stand too close.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 package taco seasoning (about 2 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 cups dried pasta
- 1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. Add the olive oil and the ground beef.
- Using a wooden spoon or meat chopper break up the meat as it browns. When it is no longer pink (about 2-3 minutes), turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add the onion powder, garlic powder, and taco seasoning. Stir in the seasoning.
- Add 1 cup of chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- Add the crushed red pepper and stir into the meat.
- Add the dried pasta, salsa, and the rest of the chicken broth. Stir to mix. Add the black beans on top.
- Close the lid to the Instant Pot, lock, and seal. Set the Instant Pot to the Pressure Cook function and set for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, use an oven mitt or kitchen towel to immediately release the pressure. When the pressure valve drops carefully open the lid away from your face.
- Add the shredded cheese and stir to warm and melt.
If you are unfamiliar with cooking in an Instant Pot, please see the notes above.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 603Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 46g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations
If you are trying to cut down on beef, to make a turkey taco pasta, ground turkey works well too. We made this taco pasta with shells, but any small pasta will work, including elbow macaroni.
Instead of jarred salsa, diced tomatoes work just as well. Or, use diced tomatoes with red chilis.
You can also top this Instant Pot taco pasta with any of your favorite chili toppings, like sliced jalapenos, sour cream, or even Tabasco.