Instant Pot Taco Pasta

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.

Instant Pot Taco Pasta Recipe

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!


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 Bowl with Sour Cream
Vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Salad

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!

Vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Salad

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

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!
I used a 6 quart Instant Pot for this recipe.
4.75 from 24 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Instant Pot Taco Pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 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**


  • Greek yogurt or sour Cream
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Chopped tomato
  • Salsa
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Salsa verde
  • Guacamole
  • Lime wedges (squeeze on top for a tasty burst of citrus)


  • 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!


* If using fresh or frozen corn, simply steam/thaw first before adding to pasta.
** For the cheese feel free to use freshly grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese (I used a tasty combination of both!) or even a bag of shredded Mexican cheese blend.
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. If you have a question about substitutions or swaps shoot me a comment or email and I’ll help you figure out if it will work or not. xoxo
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy! Recipe yields 6 standard servings or 4 larger portions, based on preference.


Calories: 444kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 948mg, Potassium: 370mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1133IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 314mg, Iron: 3mg

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
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • Avocado salsa verde
  • Guacamole
  • 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!

Instant Pot Taco Pasta Vegan Version
Taco Pasta in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

hungry for more?

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!

:: pin it for later ::

Jenn Laughlin Peas and Crayons Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It’ll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

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Recipe Rating

Questions & Reviews

  1. Sounds delicious but my husband is going to want some meat. Can i add some cooked ground beef to this.

    1. You absolutely can! My mother-in-law likes to brown 1 pound of ground turkey (ground beef works too!) in a pan on the stove then add it to the pasta. She said she puts it in with the noodles are added and just follows all other instructions the same. Hope this helps!

  2. 1 star
    Really want to like this pasta but every time I have made it I get a burn warning on my insta pot. I added more water but it has never worked even following the recipe to closely. Disappointing. In general your recipes are awesome and a favourite with my family of 6!

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve been having difficulty with this one Carya! I’m happy to help troubleshoot if you’d like? Instant Pot recipes can generally be quite finicky but typically this one has been flexible for us.

      Were any small swaps made with pasta size or ingredients (sometimes a different shape needs a liquid-to-pasta-ratio adjustment) and were any extras added? What size IP was used? Were the ingredients stirred before sealing the IP?

      The burn notice is built into the IP to warn us the ingredients are basically sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning or at risk of burning. Extra thick sauces or a lack of liquid to cook in are typically the culprit from what I’ve found, though this particular recipe has never given me the notice as the water, liquid-y enchilada sauce, and water/juice from the diced tomatoes all seem to be enough for the medium shell pasta shape. For sure let me know and we’ll get to the bottom of this! xo

    1. Hi Tina! You can absolutely use it for my One Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Pasta recipe but to use that type of pasta in the Instant Pot you will need to do some experimenting and it might not work the first time. In my experience that pasta (though delish!!!) behaves a bit differently and froths up quite a bit when boiled and falls apart if cooked too long.. so maybe try it stove-top if you aren’t up for some IP experimentation? Keep me posted!

    1. Hey Cameron! My mother-in-law likes to brown 1 pound of ground turkey (ground beef would work too) and add it to the pasta. She said she puts it in with the noodles are added and just follows all other instructions the same. Hope this helps!

      1. If adding a pound of browned turkey to the recipe, do I need to add in a bit more liquid? I’m still new to the IP and afraid of getting a burn notice!

        1. I don’t think my MIL does when she makes it but you absolutely can add a little extra! I sometimes toss in a bit more of the liquid ingredients when I want it extra saucy.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for New Years Day which happened to be on a Friday this year. This dish wins the award hands down for the fastest “delicious” complements from the entire audience. Won’t make the top three all time favorite meals with my meat lovers but definitely a meatless win. Changing eating habits requires work. Raised Catholic we always had fish on Friday. Yes, fish doesn’t count as meat according to the Pope. This was also an attempt to atone for my sin of using Prosciutto Ravioli in my Meatless Monday attempt; live and learn and keep moving forward.

    I was a bit skeptical of cooking pasta in the Instant Pot one stop method. I’ve never gotten the Instant Pot to do rice well in this sort of recipe. The pasta was perfect as confirmed by both sideline judges!

  4. I don’t think steaming or thawing fresh/frozen corn is necessary. Fresh will cook in three minutes, and the pot won’t come to pressure while there’s frozen anything in it so it will thaw and cook along with the pasta.

  5. Hey! If I wanted to sub pasta for brown rice, how much water and how much time? I’m new to the instapot scene, excited to try this ! Thanks

  6. 5 stars
    Soooo yummmyyyyyyyyy! My kid is almost 2 and he loves it, too. Husband says it’s a hit. I’m saving this recipe. Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    Mad this again tonight without chili powder because it’s a HUGE hit with the 4 year old. Which, if you have kids, means you basically are crazy not to make it 🙂

    I add an extra cup of water and use a whole box of pasta, and add extra cheese to make it extra gooey. I also add extra beans and chopped bell peppers and chopped spinach or kale to get more veggies into all of us.

    We eat it for several nights running which makes it even better!

        1. Hi Christy! Great question! The corn I usually don’t (since there is so little liquid in the kind I buy) but I always drain and rinse the black beans since the liquid can discolor the whole dish. I’ll add a note to the recipe.

  8. 4 stars
    This was good and easy. I didn’t have a use for half a can of black beans, so I added the entire can, which was great, but I did find this to be more than 4 servings. You see the connection. 😉
    I also found this to be very salty—it might be better to make your own enchilada sauce to cut down on salt.
    I used an 8-quart pot and needed extra water—I did have some sticking.

  9. 5 stars
    One of my first dishes in the IP and definitely happy with how it came out. I do agree that it needs some kind of topping to finish it off. Sour Cream seems like it’d be perfect to cool it off. Definitely a keeper in my book!

    1. YAY!!! So glad you enjoyed the taco pasta, Harold. Thanks! I’m team sour cream on top as well – the cool creaminess is just fantastic with the saucy pasta!

  10. 5 stars
    OMG! This recipe knocks it out of the park!
    I added 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder and 1/2 tsp. Of red pepper flakes.
    And 1/2 of chopped green pepper sauteed with the onion.

  11. 4 stars
    Made it tonight! If you have the enchiladas sauce ready, it’s super quick! For once in my life i followed the recipe and didn’t modify one thing…ok i just reduced the chili powder because i was also feeding my toddler!
    Very delicious! Going on my permanent list

    1. Hey Caitlin! You’ll want to use canned or pre-cooked here. When time permits, I like to cook a big batch from dried beans and then freeze them in 1 cup portions until I need them – then I just defrost and use in recipes!

  12. Hi! I don’t have an instant pot but would love to make this in the crockpot! Do you know the steps to make in the crockpot?

    1. Hey Kyra! I know how to make it a one-pot pasta dish stove top (lemme know if you want the instructions for that!) but have never tested a pasta dish in the slow cooker b/c I keep hearing mixed things about how the pasta cooks in it. Do you make pasta dishes in the crockpot a lot? Thoughts?

  13. 5 stars
    This was really tasty for a quick dinner. I used regular small shell pasta. Turned out great! I can see what you mean about having fun with toppings. We just used sour cream and cheese tonight, but when I make it again (of course I will!) I’ll add avocado, tomato and green onions.

  14. Thank You.
    I would love to make this on the stove top because I don’t have a slow cooker. I already made the enchilada pasta which I love, do I do this pasta the exact same way?

    1. Hi Che’Yona! You can make your own version using tomato sauce, broth, spices, etc… here: Enchilada Sauce Recipe You could also simply add canned (plain) tomato sauce in place of the enchilada sauce and season to your liking with cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You could also add ground cayenne pepper if you’d like the sauce to be spicy.

  15. 5 stars
    OMG…. this is so good. I cheated and doubled the recipe and added a lb of hamburger meat. It is really good!!!!! The family likes it as well.

    1. Hey Sammy! In all my years crock-potting it up I’ve still never added pasta to the slow cooker. I feel like it the recipe would need to be reworked in order for it to work. It will, however, totally work as a one-pot stovetop pasta using the instructions here: Healthy One-Pot Enchilada Pasta and then just using regular pasta shells in place of the GF ones as desired. xoxo

  16. 5 stars
    This was the perfect meal for that busy weeknight dinner!! It was very easy to prepare and all three kids loved it, the hubby thought it was pretty good also!! The kids spiced up their individual bowls with their choice of toppings and came back for seconds. I will definitely be making this again in the near future!!

  17. 5 stars
    I just purchased my Instant Pot and decided on your Taco Pasta for one of my first endeavors! My husband thinks all meals should have meat, so I browned 1/2 lb of ground Turkey and 1/2 lb of ground Turkey sausage first in the Instant Pot. Then I followed your instructions. My daughter and one of her girls are with us. It was a huge hit! Thanks!

    1. Thank you Kay! I’m over the moon excited that it works with turkey and that the whole family enjoyed the recipe. xoxo

  18. 5 stars
    2 thumbs up! Super easy to make and we absolutely loved it! It will definitely be at the top of the make again list!

  19. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, the COLOURS in this pasta! It would cheer anyone up at the dinner table!
    Those toppings must take it to the next level. Delicious!

    1. Oh no! Jen, do you mind helping me troubleshoot? Were all the ingredients used as listed above? Any additions or extras mixed in? Which type/brand of pasta? Did you use an Instant Pot or a stove-top pressure cooker or something different? Thanks for your help!

  20. I would love to make this but don’t have an instant pot. Can I make it on the stovetop or slow cooker?