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Instant Pot Taco Pasta

It’s no secret that I love tacos. I could eat tacos any way and every day. Give me a taco variation, and I’ll enjoy it just as much as the real thing. This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinner meals. With ground beef, taco seasoning, cheese, and shell pasta, it’s comforting and delicious. My kids always ask for seconds. It has all of the taco flavoring you love!

This is like an Italian & Mexican fusion dinner. You’ve got the spice from the taco seasoning and the pasta texture. We stock up on taco seasoning in our home, and I always keep it in the pantry. I find it on sale and use store-bought, but homemade taco seasoning works well in this recipe, too. The creamy sauce with a touch of spice is so flavorful.

It’s elevated even more because you can get dinner on the table quicker than ever, thanks to the Instant Pot. Draining the beef takes the most amount of time, and the pasta cooks in minutes. You’ll have this Instant Pot Taco Pasta on the table in under 30 minutes.

Looking for even more great taco-inspired recipes? Check out my Taco Tater Tot Casserole for a hot 13×9-inch baking dish recipe. Or my Doritos Taco Pie if you love Doritos chips.

Instant Pot Taco Pasta Tips

Of course, you’ll need to use the Instant Pot to make this recipe. If you’ve never used it before, it’s basically a pressure cooker. Don’t stress if you’ve never used one prior to making this pasta. Just follow the step-by-step recipe directions and you’ll do great.

Instant Pot Taco Pasta Recipe
This Instant Pot Taco Pasta is a family-favorite for weeknight dinners.

Tips For Using An Instant Pot

No doubt, pressure cooking can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be pumping out tasty, easy meals in no time. Here are a few basic tips that you should know if you’ve never used an Instant Pot before:

  • The steam that is released from the Instant Pot is extremely hot. Be careful not to put any body parts in the path of the steam.
  • Replace the sealing ring on your Instant Pot regularly. 
  • The sealing ring on an Instant Pot is made from silicone, which is ideally suited to the purpose because it’s heat resistant and flexible. Replace it regularly to ensure the seal is secure.

What To Serve With Taco Pasta

This is a great one-bowl meal, but there are so many great side dishes you can make with this dinner. A basic side salad or Italian bread would be great with the pasta. I don’t like double carbs, but some of my readers have made this dinner with homemade rice. I’ll make Taco Pasta early in the week and we enjoy leftovers for several nights.

How To Store Leftovers

Once the pasta is cooked, let it cool completely and transfer it to an airtight food storage container. For best freshness, enjoy the pasta for 3-4 days after cooking it. I reheat individual servings in the microwave, on high, for 2-3 minutes. Feel free to add extra cheese, if necessary.

Can You Freeze Instant Pot Taco Pasta?

Yes! This Taco Pasta freezes well. I transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe container. Store the leftovers in the back of your freezer where temperatures are more stable. The pasta can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating again.

Recipe Variations

There are a few ingredients that you can easily substitute to make this recipe your own. I love to use the shell pasta with the ground beef. Little pieces of ground beef will be in the shell pasta. However, use any pasta that you have on hand. Bow tie pasta is another great option.

If you aren’t a fan of ground beef, consider using ground turkey or ground bison. Ground turkey has less fat and won’t be as flavorful. Ground beef offers more of an earthy flavor but it’s just as delicious. Those are the best meat substitutes. Follow the same recipe directions if you switch meats.

What You Need From The Grocery Store:

  • Ground Beef
  • Taco Seasoning (store-bought or homemade is fine, just measure homemade to be 1 ounce)
  • Chicken Broth (low sodium or regular works)
  • Salsa (pick whatever heat level you prefer)
  • Small Shell Pasta
  • Mexican-Style Shredded Cheese
  • Optional Toppings: Cilantro, Sour Cream, Avocado, Onion or Tomato

Step-By-Step Directions To Make Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Turn the Instant Pot on to saute mode and brown the ground beef. Drain grease.

Browning the ground beef in the Instant Pot

Add the next 4 ingredients: taco seasoning, chicken broth, salsa, and pasta shells.

Adding shells and taco seasoning to the Instant Pot.

Close the lid on the pressure cooker and set to sealing. Set a manual high pressure for 5 minutes and then do a quick release when the cooking time is up.

Adding the cheese to the Taco Pasta to cook.
Yield: 6 Servings

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Taco Pasta Recipe

Family dinner never tasted so good! This Instant Pot Taco Pasta recipe comes together in minutes and has a great taco ground beef flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-ounce packet taco seasoning 
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup mild salsa
  • 8 ounces uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese
  • Optional toppings - chopped tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, cilantro


  1. Turn the Instant Pot on to saute mode and brown the ground beef. Drain grease.
  2. Add the next 4 ingredients: taco seasoning, chicken broth, salsa, and pasta shells.
  3. Close the lid on the pressure cooker and set it to sealing. Set a manual high pressure for 5 minutes and then do a quick release when the cooking time is up.


  • Store leftover pasta in the refrigerator. For the best freshness, enjoy the leftovers within 3-4 days of cooking them. Reheat individual portions for 1 minute, on high, in the microwave.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1471mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.

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