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Easy Taco Pasta Bake

If you’re in need of a meal prep recipe, this taco pasta bake might be your new go to. It’s super simple to make, loaded with cheesy taco flavor, and has fantastic macros for a pasta recipe.

One serving of this taco pasta bake has 24 grams of protein with only 28 grams of carbs and 250 calories. The recipe makes nine servings, so you could feed the entire family for a few days or double up on servings and have a 500-calorie, protein-packed meal for four days. Needless to say, this is nacho average taco pasta bake.

K, I don’t think we need to taco bout it anymore. Let’s get down to business.

A super easy to make taco pasta bake with tons of protein and just 6 Freestyle Points per serving. This is an awesome meal prep recipe or a quick dinner to feed the whole crew.
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How to Make This Taco Pasta Bake

Like most of my recipes, this is another ultra simple recipe. You’ll need seven ingredients total, but two are seasonings and two are canned. Other than cooking some pasta and ground beef or meat of your choice, this taco pasta bake is pure assembly.

I’ll quickly run through the ingredients you might have questions about modifying.


I used Banza Shells which are made from chickpeas. They’re much higher in protein and lower in carbs than traditional pasta. If you’ve never tried any of the chickpea or lentil pastas, this is the recipe to start with since the blend of textures more than accommodates for the difference.

ground beef taco meat with pasta in a pan

You could use another brand of “protein pasta” like the Barilla Protein+ I used in my Italian Sausage and Veggie Pasta Bake.

Or if you’d rather go with a regular pasta or save some time, you could use something like the Barilla Ready Pasta I used in my Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta or frozen cauliflower gnocchi in my Italian ground turkey soup. You can pop it in the microwave for 60 seconds and be ready to roll.

Obviously switching from the Banza pasta to a traditional pasta will increase the carbs and slightly decrease the protein, that might not be a problem for your nutrition protocol. If you have the carbs, I say go for it!

Another pasta alternative might be chopped corn tortillas. My ground chicken taco casserole and beef enchilada casserole recipes fold in six chopped corn tortillas before topping with cheese. It’s pretty great!

Taco and Ranch Seasoning

I used a packet of taco seasoning to keep things simple. If you’d like to reduce the sodium a bit or use your own spice mixture, I’d highly recommend the spices from my low fat nachos.

And if you don’t have any ranch seasoning on hand, you could use a bit of garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill, and powdered buttermilk.


While I wouldn’t recommend going all the way fat free with the cheese, you could certainly use less cheese than the recipe calls for to reduce the calories. I was able to fully coat the taco pasta bake with about 3/4 cup cheese and decided to make it extra cheesy with another 1/2 cup.

If you stopped at 3/4 cup, you’d save about 20 calories per serving. Doesn’t seem like much when I put it that way. Cheese it up. 

Update 10/2019: If you want to seriously up the cheese game, you could incorporate queso into the mix like in my chicken fajita pasta bake recipe!

Okay, the full recipe is below. When you make this taco pasta bake, I’d love to see it. Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @mason_woodruff or join my free Facebook group and share it with the proton party!

easy taco pasta bake

Easy Taco Pasta Bake

Yield: 9 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A super simple, lower carb taco pasta recipe topped with melted cheese. 


  • 1 lb 96/4 Ground Beef
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1 packet Ranch Dip Mix
  • 10 oz can RO-TEL , or diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 15 oz can Pinto Beans, undrained
  • 1 box (8oz) Banza Pasta Shells, or Barilla Ready Pasta to save time
  • 1 1/4 C (140g Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese Blend


  1. Preheat an oven to 400F.
  2. Cook the pasta as directed unless you're using something like Ready Pasta. 
  3. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Cook until no pink remains. 
  4. Reduce the heat to low before adding the taco and ranch seasoning, RO-TEL, and pinto beans to the beef. (If you'd like a thicker pasta, drain the beans.) Stir well. 
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and add the pasta to the taco mixture. 
  6. Mix everything together before adding the mixture to an 8x8 baking dish or comparable dish. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes. (Keep an eye on the cheese to avoid burning.) 


  • 1 serving has 6 Smart Points. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Servings Serving Size: 1 Cup (175g)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 24g

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Monday 29th of November 2021

This recipe is a go to meal prep in my house! Super easy, healthy and loaded with nutrients. I always look forward to lunch or dinner when I make this meal!


Wednesday 14th of April 2021

This is a staple dinner recipe in my house. Bonus, it makes enough for me to have lunch leftovers for the week!

Angie Nicodemus

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Love this recipe!! So quick to put together and tastes amazing! Even my husband who is picky about “healthy” eating loves it!! Thanks Mason!

Alyssa Harper

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Literally my go to recipe that I make almost every week. This is SO good and SO easy!


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Has anyone tried this with shirataki noodles? Would it work?

Mason Woodruff

Friday 4th of December 2020

I've never seen anyone do it, but I imagine it would work okay. At least as well as anything with shirataki noodles can go.

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