Instant Pot Taco Pasta is made with ground beef, black beans, corn, green chiles, and taco seasoning for a Southwestern-inspired flavor.
How about a new kind of taco Tuesday? Enjoy all of your favorite taco toppings in one bowl with lots of cheese.
Start by browning ground beef in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Then add everything but the cheese, sour cream, lime, and cilantro, but do not stir. The pasta will cook and the liquid will reduce.
When the cook time is complete, stir in the cheese, sour cream and fresh lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy your delicious dinner.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
You can use your favorite taco seasoning (McCormick is a classic) or I included a homemade taco seasoning recipe in the Notes section of the recipe card using chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
If you're looking for more easy Instant Pot recipes for the family, try Instant Pot Chicken and Stuffing, or for Instant Pot pasta recipes try my Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni, a Hamburger Helper copycat recipe.
- Easy recipe: One-pot meal with simple ingredients, perfect for busy weeknights.
- Feed a crowd: Feed the whole family and then some. This makes 8 servings.
Do not be scared off by the (seemingly) long list of ingredients. Most of the items in this Instant Pot Taco Pasta recipe are canned or jarred pantry staples.
- ground beef - or ground turkey
- taco seasoning - one packet
- black beans - drained and rinsed
- sweet golden corn - drained
- diced green chiles - these come in a can
- tomato sauce - this comes in a can, it is NOT the same thing as pasta sauce
- salsa - mild, medium, or hot
- beef broth - for flavor, to cook the pasta
- rotini - see my notes below on alternative pasta shapes
- cheddar cheese - shredded cheddar
- sour cream - to make it creamy
- lime - for a bright, zesty flavor
- cilantro - optional, to garnish
See the recipe card for quantities.
Using the saute setting on the Instant Pot, brown the ground beef. When the ground beef is done cooking, scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot liner to make sure there are no burned bits on the bottom. Drain fat if desired or leave for added flavor.
Cancel the saute setting. Add the taco seasoning, stirring to coat the ground beef.
Add the black beans, sweet golden corn, diced green chiles, beef broth, and tomato sauce, stirring together.
Add the rotini lightly submerging in the liquid but DO NOT stir. Stirring at this point can lead to a burn error. I have some helpful tips below on what to do in the event of a burn error. Layer the salsa on top of the pasta.
Close the Instant Pot lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time begins. When the cooking time is complete, follow by a quick release.
Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and lime juice until the cheese is melted.
Optional: garnish with cilantro and serve with a dollop of sour cream, a fresh sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and a wedge of lime.
Hint: I like to use a manual citrus squeezer to juice the limes.
I tested this recipe multiple times before landing on this recipe. Here are a few notes on the substitutions I tried and my thoughts on each.
- Ground beef - lean ground beef and ground turkey work great in this recipe. I have also tested boneless, skinless chicken thighs (three thighs, diced), and it was great! Just saute like you would the ground beef.
- Taco seasoning - you can replace taco seasoning with a homemade blend of taco spices (see my notes on the recipe card below)
- Salsa - I tried this recipe with a can of diced tomatoes instead of salsa and it just did not have the same zing, ya know? I recommend sticking to the recipe on this one.
- Broth - This works great with beef broth, bone broth, chicken broth or even water.
- Pasta - I tested this with macaroni elbows, cellentani, pasta shells, and rotini, using the same cook time, and the recipe turned out great every single time. Any type of pasta that is small is best.
Additionally, this recipe calls for mild ingredients, but you can easily kick up the heat by using hot taco seasoning or hot/spicy salsa.
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. I use an older version of the 6-quart Instant Pot duo for this recipe. This easy taco pasta recipe has not been tested on the stovetop.
Tips for a burn error
I have not encountered a burn error on this recipe, but it can happen when the pot gets overcrowded or when ingredients aren't added in the correct order. I've also heard older models are more prone to a burn notice.
If your Instant Pot beeps and says "Burn," cancel and do a quick release and test your noodles. The beef is cooked before the rest of the ingredients are added, so the only real goal here is to cook that macaroni.
If the pasta is cooked, then you're all set. There may be excess liquid in this case, which will thicken somewhat into a sauce as the pasta cools.
If the pasta is undercooked, stir the pasta mixture, scraping the bottom of the pot to be sure nothing is burned to the bottom. You can attempt to re-seal the pot and cook for an additional minute or two (but you're likely to get another burn message), or you can set it to sauté and cook stirring occasionally.
Store leftover taco pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning*
- 15.25 ounces black beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup sweet golden corn
- 4 ounces diced green chiles mild
- 3 cups beef broth
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 16 ounces rotini pasta uncooked
- 16 ounces salsa mild
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 lime juiced
- cilantro optional, to garnish
- Using the saute setting on the Instant Pot, brown the ground beef. When the ground beef is done cooking, scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot liner to make sure there are no burned bits on the bottom. Drain fat if desired or leave in for added flavor.
- Cancel the saute setting. Add the taco seasoning, stirring to coat the ground beef.
- Add the black beans, sweet golden corn, diced green chiles, beef broth and tomato sauce, stirring together.
- Add the rotini lightly submerging in the liquid but DO NOT stir. Layer salsa on top.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time begins. When the cooking time is complete, follow by a quick release.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and lime juice until the cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro (optional). See notes for more topping ideas.
When cooking with raw meat, remember a few important safety tips:
- Cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 °F and cook poultry to a minimum temperature of 165 °F.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Follow your pressure cooker's user manual.