Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake

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"From our weekday newspaper The West Australian."

Original is 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (311.5 g)
  • Calories 481.1
  • Total Fat - 24.4 g
  • Saturated Fat - 9.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 33.8 mg
  • Sodium - 1001.9 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 53.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 6 g
  • Sugars - 29.7 g
  • Protein - 16.8 g
  • Calcium - 378.9 mg
  • Iron - 2.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 22.6 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced and cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions or until al dente and then drain.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened and now add the beef and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned.

Step 3

Add the taco seasoning to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until well combined and now add the pasta, salsa and cheese sauce and season and cook, stirring, until combined and warmed through. Transfer to a baking dish and smooth the surface and scatter with cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Step 4

Serve topped with sour cream, tomato, avocado and shallot.


No special items needed.

Editorial Notes

The ingredient tips, suggestions, variations, facts, questions and answers below are not edits to the original author's recipe. They are not meant to imply any change would improve the recipe. They're offered for convenience, alternative ideas, and points of interest. If you have any comments about them, please post in the Help & Ideas forum.

  • When selecting the beef mince, make sure to choose a lean cut to reduce fat and calories.
  • When selecting the salsa, make sure to choose a mild thick and chunky variety for the best flavor and texture.

  • Substitute beef mince with vegetarian mince - this will make the dish vegan-friendly and will provide an alternative source of protein.
  • Substitute mozzarella cheese with vegan cheese - this will make the dish vegan-friendly and will provide a dairy-free alternative.

Vegetarian Variation Replace the beef mince with 500 grams of cooked black beans, substitute the cheese sauce with a vegan cheese sauce, and omit the sour cream.

Mexican Street Corn Salad - This fresh and flavorful side dish is the perfect accompaniment to the Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake. The sweetness of the corn and the zing of the lime juice and chili powder provide a great contrast to the rich flavors of the pasta bake. The creamy avocado and crunchy radishes add texture and color, making it a great way to round out the meal.

Mexican Rice and Beans:

This classic Mexican side dish is the perfect accompaniment to the Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake. The nutty flavor of the rice and the smoky, earthy flavor of the beans provide a great contrast to the richness of the pasta bake. The combination of the two is a hearty and satisfying side dish that will add a great depth of flavor to the meal.


Q: How do I make the taco seasoning?

A: To make the taco seasoning, mix together 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Q: What ingredients do I need for guacamole?

A: To make guacamole, you will need 2 ripe avocados, 1/2 a red onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 a lime, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and salt to taste.

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Fun facts:

The taco seasoning used in this recipe was invented by Mexican-American entrepreneur, Celia Cruz, in the 1940s. She created the seasoning to make it easier for people to make Mexican food at home.

The cheese sauce used in this recipe is a variation of the classic Mornay sauce, which was popularized by the French chef, Auguste Escoffier, in the late 19th century.