Veggie-Loaded Tex-Mex Taco Pasta
This Veggie-Loaded Tex-Mex Taco Pasta is hearty, flavorful, made all in one pot, and the perfect family dinner! Cooking up in just 30 minutes and easily made gluten free and dairy-free, this healthy family-friendly pasta is packed with lean ground beef, riced cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, tomatoes, and spinach!
Have you tried my Healthier Hamburger Helper (with added veggies) yet? If not, you are going to want to. It is easily one of the most popular dinner recipes on my site with all 5-star ratings, is reported to be loved by many of your families, is loaded with veggies (of course) and was the inspiration for this Taco Pasta recipe.
You see, more than once, people have told me that they want more easy dinner recipes like my hamburger helper. Something you can make in one pot in under 30 minutes and that is loaded with vegetables and delicious comforting flavors your family will go nuts over. So, that is what I have done for you with this recipe.
Made all in one pot, this Taco Pasta has 6 different veggies (onion, carrots, bell pepper, riced cauliflower, tomatoes, and spinach) and is full of flavor from the lean ground beef and perfect blend of spices. Hearty and easy to make, this pasta dish cooks up in under 30 minutes and is perfect to whip up for those busy weeknight dinners. The leftovers make for a great lunch or reheat-and-eat dinner for up to 4 days. While my family loves this Taco Pasta with a sprinkle of grated cheese on top, you can leave that off for a dairy-free option and this recipe works great with just about all the types of pasta I’ve tested it with, so go ahead an use gluten free noodles if you need to!
How to make this Taco Pasta: step-by-step visual guide
- Use a different kind of ground meat. We love this Taco Pasta with lean ground beef, but you can also use bison, ground chicken or ground turkey if you prefer.
- Make it saucier by adding in a 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes when you add the diced tomatoes.
- Omit a veggie or two if you don’t like them or don’t have them on hand. I feel the true veggie flavor staples to keep are the tomatoes, onion and bell peppers. But if you prefer to skip the cauliflower, carrots, or spinach…you absolutely can.
- Make this pasta gluten free by using your favorite gluten free pasta.
- Need vegetarian? Replace the beef with a meat replacement like Beyond Beef.
- Up the fiber by adding in a can of rinsed canned black beans when you add the spinach.
- Add in corn and/or jalapeños if you like!
- Keep it dairy-free by skipping the optional sour cream and cheese topping.
How to store and reheat
This Taco Pasta is delicious as leftovers and makes for a great reheat and eat dinner. To store it, just pop leftovers into an air-tight container and store in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze it in freezer safe containers for up to 2 months, but like all cooked pastas, I find that when it is defrosted, the macaroni is noticeably softer….but still delicious!
Other veggie-loaded one-pot dinners….
- 15+ Veggie-Loaded One Pot Recipes
- 30-Minute Creamy Carrot Red Lentil Soup
- Healthier Hamburger Helper (with veggies!)
- 15-Minute Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower Rice
- Veggie-Loaded Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 35 Minute Ground Turkey & Sweet Potato Taco Skillet
Loving this Taco Pasta recipe and hungry for more?
One-Pot Veggie-Loaded Tex-Mex Taco Pasta
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated or finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced small
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, or to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups frozen riced cauliflower
- 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes, I used fire roasted with green chilis
- 2 cups elbow macaroni or other small-shaped pasta, use gluten free for a gluten free option.
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup packed baby spinach, finely chopped
- Optional topping: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, avocado, and fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef and onion cook until the beef is browned and crumbled. About 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium then stir in the carrot and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until the vegetables are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice cauliflower, can of tomatoes, macaroni, broth, and remaining salt. Stir to combine then cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni in cooked, about 12 minutes. If the pasta has absorbed all of the liquid or if you want your taco pasta more saucy, you can stir in an additional cup of broth.
- Turn off the heat then stir in the spinach to wilt. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Scoop the taco pasta into bowls then top with desired toppings.Store leftover in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze this pasta for a few months, but the pasta will be very soft when it’s defrosted.
- cook time will vary based on type of pasta you use.