Easy Taco Pasta Bake

Easy Taco Pasta Bake

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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.

With 24 grams of protein and only 28 grams of carbs and 250 calories per serving, this taco pasta bake is perfect for meal prep or feeding the family!

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.

Pasta

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.

You can use any brand of “protein pasta” for this taco pasta bake. I just prefer Banza. 

ground beef taco meat with pasta in a pan

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. 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!

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 healthy nachos recipe.

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.

Cheese

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. 

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
4.91 from 10 votes
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Easy Taco Pasta Bake

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword taco pasta bake
Servings 9 Servings
Calories 251 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 96/4 Ground Beef or your choice of ground meat
  • 1 packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1 packet (30g) Ranch Dip Seasoning
  • 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

Instructions

  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. 

    ground beef taco meat with pasta in a pan
  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.) 

    taco pasta bake in the baking dish
Nutrition Facts
Easy Taco Pasta Bake
Amount Per Serving (1 Cup (175g))
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Protein 24g 48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Healthy Taco Themed Recipes You Might Like

If you’d like to incorporate more veggies into your diet, my high protein creamy taco soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers. Even better, you get to throw all of them in straight from the freezer. No prep or chopping required.

high protein taco soup recipe

My chickpea and chorizo taco soup is incredibly filling and packed with flavor. If you like spice, this soup is for you.

instant pot chickpea and chorizo taco soup

If you dig the taco and ranch seasoning combo, my healthy taco boats use a similar blend with a bit of Greek yogurt and cheddar powder. They’re extra cheesy and have that amazing sour cream with tacos flavor.

healthy cheesy taco boats



11 thoughts on “Easy Taco Pasta Bake”

  • This is by far the best taco bake I have ever had. There is so much flavor in the dish. My entire family devoured it. It is also great for a lot of company and easy to just double the recipe. My entire family loves the flavor so much we’ve even made it but left out the noodles and just used it as tacos. Delicious! 10/10

  • This recipe is a great meal prep recipe. I double it and have plenty for my husband and I for the week. I used chickpea pasta, and it tastes great. Awesome balance of flavor, protein and pasta! In the future I might mix some of the cheese into the dish and not just use it as a topping.

  • Another super yummy recipe! We served ours topped with plain greek yogurt, salsa and shredded lettuce. I might use black beans next time if it doesn’t affect the macros too much.

  • Talk about AMAZING! Mason’s library of recipes never cease to amaze me, I could scroll, drooling, for hours on end. This dish in particular was so flavorful, full of spice and oh so savory. In addition, I’ve been dying to try his cheddar recipes but unfortunately can’t find cheddar powder, but hey if I could get my hands on this box, cheese itz, Mac and cheese, and hamburger helper copy cat would be going down!

  • This recipe was absolutely phenomenal for my mealnpreps! Instead of using beef though, I used ground turkey and it turned out delicious!!! 5 stars-HIGHLY recommend!!

  • Made this for Taco Tuesday and it was a huge hit! I rinsed the Banza a ton, added a squeeze of lime and a dash of red pepper and it’s a keeper! Thanks Mason!

  • I made this taco pasta bake last night and it was Amazing!!! Even my picky eaters ate it up. This will be a frequent dish at my house!!

  • This is a great meal! My husband (who does not care about macros) likes it a lot too. I was dubious about chickpea pasts but it was great – found it at Harris Teeter but have since seen it at Target as well. I made it without beans and it was just as a good! Thanks Mason!

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