Easy Taco Bake Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (2024)

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posted by Christy Denneyon Mar 25, 2020 (updated Oct 19, 2023) 63 comments »

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This Easy Taco Bake is apasta dish that tastes just like a taco! It’s a Mexican meets Italian easy dinner that can easily be made ahead of time and freezes great. Also a good way to use leftover taco meat.

Easy Taco Bake Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (1)


People always assume that I’m this fantastic gourmet chefand always have been. The truth is thatI was a horrible cook. Eating, yes, Ihave always been good at that.But the actual cooking– not so much.

It’s like people assuming that just because you have a lot of kids you’re a wonderful parent. That is also not true, unfortunately. But with practice comes experience and just like knowing when your butter is browned and not burnt, you also learn to predict the triggers of a 2-year-old’s tantrums.

I appreciate this Easy Taco Bake for its simplicity and down home tastiness. My kids loved this Taco Pasta so I knew this version would go over well and a great switch up to Taco Tuesday. A lot of meals can be overly fussy and complicated and this one will be a family staple I promise. It freezes great too!


You can use any short pasta that you have on hand for this recipe. Penne, rigatoni, farfalle, or ziti would all work.


You can add a can ofcorn,black beans, slicedpeppers, orblack olivesto this to mix it up.


Prepare recipe according to directions up until baking. Freeze at this point. To eat after freezing: thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake covered in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until hot.


  • Taco Party Bread
  • East Taco Lettuce Wraps
  • Taco Pizza
  • Taco Lasagna
  • Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
  • Taco Grilled Cheese
  • Chicken Taco Soup

Easy Taco Bake Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (4)

Easy Taco Bake

4.34 from 27 votes

This Easy Taco Bake is apasta dish that has all the flavor of a taco!It can easily be made ahead of time and freezes great.


Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

Cook Time: 25 minutes mins

Total Time: 40 minutes mins

Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce, (you can sub spaghetti sauce if you like)
  • 1-1/4 oz. package taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked, (or any short pasta)
  • 1 (8 oz) container sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnish: chopped green onions or cilantro


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 13"x9" baking dish.

  • Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Combine cooked macaroni, sour cream and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Add the beef mixture to the macaroni mixture and stir to combine.

  • Spoon macaroni mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped green onions for garnish.


Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe according to directions up until baking. Freeze at this point. To eat after freezing: thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake covered in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until hot.

Source: Renae Scheiderer from Gooseberry Patch

Cuisine: Mexican

Course: Main Course

Author: Christy Denney

Easy Taco Bake Recipe - The Girl Who Ate Everything (5)

Beef Casseroles Cinco De Mayo Freezer Meals Italian Main Dishes Mexican Pasta Super Easy Recipesbake taco

originally published on Mar 25, 2020 (last updated Oct 19, 2023)

63 comments Leave a comment »

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63 comments on “Easy Taco Bake”

  1. Melissa Reply

    I’ve made this twice, once as written and the second time with some added onion, bell pepper, corn, and subbed ground turkey for beef. It was a huge hit with the husband and kids both times! No one even suspected that I used a different meat. I think I’ll try adding in a can of seasoned black beans next time. And when it comes to pasta in recipes, I like to go off weight instead of volume since the shapes vary so much. 8 oz of dry pasta was roughly 3 cups, and ensures that I can get 2 batches out of the 1 lb box.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      So glad you liked it.

  2. Kimberly Reply

    I made this tonight with whole wheat pasta, I mixed in riced broccoli for my toddler and a side salad for my husband and I and everyone LOVED it!!! Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You’re welcome!

  3. Rebecca Brown Reply

    I made this for the first time today. It was great! I pretty much followed the recipe, with a couple of changes. I chopped and sautéed an onion and I added a can of corn because we love corn. I mixed all of that into the tomato-meat sauce before I combined that with the rest of the ingredients. I left out the Parmesan cheese because everything else was Mexican flavors. I didn’t want to add Italian. I didn’t have any green onions. I noticed the date on the original post for this recipe, March 25, 2020. It was at the very beginning of the pandemic. It’s great comfort food and makes a lot of it. I highly recommend this recipe.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Rachael Reply

    Great recipe! I used penne pasta and ground turkey instead and added pico de Gallo on it after! So easy and filling!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yum! So happy you made it!

  5. Candace PierreLouis Reply

    I haven’t made this yet but I will be tonight! I have so much left over taco meat but no taco shells or tortillas. Unlike so many other recipes I have looked at, I have everything this recipe calls for on hand. I am going to omit the sour cream, but only because I am the only one who likes it. Thank you so much for this recipe! I really didn’t know what to make for supper and sure don’t want any leftovers going to waste!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Awesome. Hope it goes well.

  6. Helen Reply

    If i need to use a larger type of pasta, like bow ties, do I need to adjust the cooking time?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Nope. Bow-ties aren’t that much bigger. Cook time should be the same.

  7. Paige Flamm Reply

    This looks amazing! We need to make this for dinner ASAP!


    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thank you Paige!

  8. barb Reply

    I very much appreciate the nutrition information included in recipes.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thanks Barb. I use MyFitnessPal to calculate the info and it really varies depending on the brands you use. I would try that.

  9. Lisa Reply

    Delicious. Granddaughters loved it

    • Christy Denney Reply

      So happy to hear that.

      • Melissa D. Reply

        Yet ANOTHER dinner from your site that my family loves. Thank you so much for everything you have on here. My kids are creatures of habit. They ask for the same things all the time (spaghetti, tacos, burgers…ect.) I am so pleased they really liked this! Thank you!

        • Christy Denney Reply

          Awesome!! Thank you!

  10. Brandea Reply

    A new family favorite! Thank you! Only thing I change is instead of tomato sauce I use a jar of mild chunky salsa and add some crisped flour tortilla strips when it comes out of the oven. Perfection!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I like the addition of salsa. Great idea!

  11. Elizabeth Reply

    We found this recipe when I was pregnant with my youngest and looking for meals that we could cook to freeze. My family LOVES this recipe and we usually cook it at least every three weeks or so! When I cook dinners for others, this is my go to. Just last month I made it and partitioned half for a dinner and froze half for my friend who just had her own baby!
    We call it “Juany Martinez” instead of Johnny Marzetti, giving a nod to the Hispanic flavors of this family favorite. Just made it this weekend for my 11 year old’s birthday dinner!
    Thanks so much for all your recipes, and especially this one!!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Haha. I love it! Juany Martinez – Awesome!!

  12. Kaylyn Bee Reply

    Can I make this the night before and leave it in the fridge and cook the next night?

    • Christy Denney Reply

      The only thing I worry about is the noodles soaking up the sauce and getting soggy.

  13. Christine Reply

    I’m going to try adding black beans tonight!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Great addition!

  14. Leslie Reply

    Hi, I just wanted to leave a comment seeing as this has become a regular menu item for us since you first posted it. My husband loves it and so do my kids! No alterations, just perfect the way it is!!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Thank you!!!

  15. Alex Reply

    Hi how many calories per serving is this recipe? Thanks!!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I updated the recipe to include nutritional information below. Hope this helps.

  16. Danielle Gingrich Reply

    Very easy and delicious! The green onion was a nice touch! I served it over shredded iceberg lettuce. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You are so welcome!

  17. Lara Reply

    Made this tonight, swapping turkey for the beef, and using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I also used your homemade taco seasoning recipe. SO delicious and easy. Thanks!!!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You’re welcome!

  18. Sheree Fuchs Reply

    I made this tonight using pasta sauce. For the cheese, I used 1/2 cup of taco cheese, 1/2 of cheddar and 1/2 od mozzarella cheese. I used a little less sour cream as it’s all I had in the house. and instead of parmesan cheese on top of it all, I used mozzarella, because again, it was what I had on hand. After baking it, let it sit about 10 minutes and served with cheesy garlic bread. A salad would have gone with this well, but fresh out at the time I made this, as it was spur of the moment, right before suppertime! Was delicious and will surely make it again! Fast and easy too! Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

    • Christy Denney Reply

      You’re welcome!

  19. Sarah Reply

    We love this recipe!! Have made it 3 times since I found it (which says a lot for me considering I usually go 6 months without repeating menus). My kids love it. Thank you!

    • Christy Denney Reply

      I love hearing that. And now I want to make it.

    • Gloria Reply

      I was looking up recipes for leftover taco meat that I have leftover from last nights burritos Gonna try this. I used taco seasoning mix to make the beef last night so I just skip that part. Does that sound correct. I too cannot cook Not sure about substitutes. Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated. I will let ya know the family reviews after they eat. Cross fingers.

      • Christy Denney Reply

        That should work gloria!

  20. Jeff Reply

    I’m not a fan of sour cream or green onions, how about throwing some corn chip crumbs into the recipe and topping it with salsa.

    • Christy Denney Reply

      Yum. Sounds good.

      • Shaunta Reply

        Do I use the entire container of the 8 oz sour cream?

        • Christy Denney Reply


  21. Lisa Reply

    This recipe turned out perfect

  22. Lisa Reply

    I made this recipe today and it came out perfect. Thank you for a simple yet delicious meal. I will definitely be making this dish again.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Thank you lisa!!!

  23. Faith Reply

    Made this tonight, super yummy and so easy!!

  24. Kristine Tolman Reply

    This looks great. I’m an American living in Cairo and I get homesick for certain flavors. Trying this tonight.

    • Kristine Tolman Reply

      No sour cream in Cairo so I used labaneh cheese (a little thicker than sour cream) and added some olives, just because I put olives in everything. Delicious! I took a few bites before freezing.

      • Karen F. Reply

        I am anxious to make this but confused with the amount of tomato sauce. Is it 15oz. can of sauce or 1 5oz. can? Thanks…

        • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

          It’s one 15 ounce can. You can also sub spaghetti sauce instead if you like.

          • tht1grl

            I use salsa instead of tomato sauce…. yummm!

          • kimmycoonchos

            Excellent idea!

      • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

        Thanks for making this all the way in Cairo!

  25. Anne F. Reply

    I made this tonight and it was a big hit! The family was skeptical about pasta and taco flavors together, but they quickly changed their tune after one bite. Thanks for a great recipe – and it made enough for lunch leftovers!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      Yay! Love hearing that!

  26. [emailprotected] Reply

    Yummmm! What a perfect meal for January!

  27. Pt Stephens Reply

    Is that 3 cups of macaroni before cooking or 3 cups after cooking? I am anxious to try this—my grandkids would love it I’m sure.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} Reply

      It’s 3 cups cooked macaroni – so after cooking. I just boiled 3 cups to be sure. It’s probably around 2 cups uncooked.

    • debbie Reply

      Before cooking

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