This Instant Pot Taco Pasta makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s sure to be a hit with the entire family! I love having this easy cheesy vegetarian pasta dish in our weekly dinner rotation and keep things fun by to changing up the toppings each time based on what ingredients we have on hand.
I’m writing this approximately 3.5 seconds after devouring a big bowl of this Instant Pot Taco Pasta and HO-LY-COW it’s good! My husband is going to freak when he gets home. He’s been asking for cheesy baked pasta for literally weeks now and MAN did I deliver! Well, minus the baked part, but he can reheat his bowl of yum in the oven so I call that a win!
Baked schmaked – the Instant Pot just legit changed my pasta game forever.
SIDENOTE: I almost wrote out tomatoes tomahhhhtoes here, but that phrase is now banned in this household. Paul texted me from the grocery store last week to ask which pita bread I wanted and that was my cheeky response. To me, it meant “whichever bro, they both do the same thing” but somehow he interpreted it as “buy ALL THE TOMATOES!” To say we currently have an abundance of tomatoes would be an understatement. Oops!
SO! THIS PASTA!
Clearly an all caps affair over here. I’m going to quit my yammering so you can get this deliciousness in your face, pronto!
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
I used medium pasta shells here but any other medium pasta shape should work pretty well. I’m thinking rotini, elbows, or penne would do great!
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 TBSP avocado oil (or equivalent)
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1.5 cups water (do not skip)
- 2 cups enchilada sauce
- 10 oz canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cups medium pasta shells
- 1/2-1 cup canned corn*
- ½ cup canned/cooked black beans (drained and rinsed)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups grated cheese**
- Set your Instant Pot to SAUTE function and add your oil.
- Test for readiness by adding in a piece of onion and, once sizzling, add your onion and sauté until tender. Next add your garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Press the off button then add your water, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. If desired you could use a bit of taco seasoning here to replace the individual spices. For a bit of heat, feel free to add cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce.
- Lastly add your pasta and pat down into the liquid without stirring, so noodles are covered. Lock the lid, ensuring valve is in sealed position. Set Instant Pot to 3 minutes at HIGH pressure.
- Once the IP beeps, quickly release the pressure by turning the valve to vent and releasing the steam/pressure. Once the pin has dropped you may safely remove the lid. The pasta will seem a bit watery at first. Add your corn and black beans and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and sprinkle with cheese. Return the lid to the pot and allow the cheese to melt and the beans to warm through, approx. 1-2 minutes. I like my pasta slightly al-dente so if you’d like it a bit softer simply let it sit a little longer in the pot with the lid on and you’re good to go!
- Time to dig in! Plate with all your favorite taco night toppings and get ready to faceplant! I added tomatoes, jalapenos, and cilantro to mine with a dollop of sour cream – yum!
special diets and swaps
As with all Instant Pot recipes, be sure to stick with the liquid-to-pasta ratio in the recipe below and follow the instructions as written to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot and activating the auto-shutoff feature. It may seem like a lot of liquid at first but the pasta needs a fair amount to cook and will soak up the water, leaving a thick and velvety sauce behind to coat your noodles.
can I make this taco pasta vegan?
Yes! All you’ll have to do is skip the cheese! If you want a bit of creaminess or cheesiness to the pasta feel free to swirl in some cashew cream after cooking or replace the cheese in the recipe with your favorite soy/veggie cheeze. When choosing toppings, go nuts! There are a number of awesome vegan toppings for this dish in the list below.
If you’re looking for a stove-top version of this pasta, try my Healthy One-Pot Enchilada Pasta – it’s vegetarian with a tasty vegan version available too!
tasty taco pasta topping options
Choose your taco night favorites from the list below! Anything goes with this easy, cheesy, one-pot pasta dish!
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Chopped tomato or pico de gallo
- Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
- Avocado salsa verde
- Lime wedges (squeeze on top for a tasty burst of citrus)
- Chopped green onion
- Chopped red onion
- Sliced olives
- Sliced avocado
No matter how you top it, this tasty taco pasta is a home run dinner!
hungry for more?
- Mexican Kale Salad with Zesty Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Mexican Baked Tortellini Casserole
- Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)
If you get a chance to try this tasty Instant Pot Taco Pasta, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation! Have a question on substitutions or swaps? Shoot me a comment below!