Cheesy Instant Pot Taco Pasta [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 7 reviews

Beef Cinco de Mayo Instant Pot Recipes Pasta

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

Instant Pot Taco Pasta is creamy, hearty and extra cheesy, easily made in the Pressure Cooker without pre-cooking the pasta. Serve it with your favorite toppings.

Instant Pot Pasta recipes are a staple around here. Among our most popular once are  Tuscan Chicken PastaChicken Pot Pie Pasta, and the cheesy Cheeseburger Macaroni.

Best Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Taco Pasta is one of those amazing dinners that once you try it will quickly become a favorite. After I made this for my husband, he asked me to add it to our rotation menu.

The recipe is so delightfully easy, you add all the ingredients to the pot and cook them together. You read that right, you don’t have to pre-cook the pasta. This homemade pasta recipe also requires minimal prep work.

A delicious combination of beef cooked with chunky and spicy salsa, taco seasoning, pasta and lots of cheese.

The pasta shells end up covered in the most amazing, cheesy sauce, you will basically lick your plate clean. Serve this amazing meal with your favorite toppings, I love mine with lots of sour cream, avocado, salsa, and fresh cilantro.

You can also add crushed tortilla chips and some chopped fresh jalapenos for a spicy kick.

Recipe Tips:

  • I always say this, but a good meat-centered meal starts with quality meat, preferably use organic beef for this meal.
  • Also, look for fresh meat, that has a bright color, and that has a 15-20% fat content to get great flavor and tenderness.
  • Browning the beef is essential, it will lock in the flavor and the beef juices and also elevate the meat flavor.
  • Also, you don’t have to pre-cook the pasta for this recipe, you add the uncooked pasta to the pot and 5 minutes on HP will give you al-dente pasta, and 6 minutes will result in more well-cooked pasta.
  • Red pepper flakes can be added for the dish to be spicier and well as freshly chopped jalapeño peppers.
  • I added cheddar cheese, you can also use a Mexican blend cheese mix.
  • You can use your favorite salsa in this recipe. I like to use medium chunky salsa as it adds more texture and a spicy kick.
  • To store leftovers, simply transfer the dish to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How long do you cook pasta in the Pressure Cooker?

Pasta is cooked in the pressure cooker, usually between 4-6 minutes, depending on the recipe and type of pasta. Most of the time followed by a Quick Pressure Release.

What Kind of Beef Is Best?

We love cooking this dish with ground beef that is 85/15 lean. However, you might go with 80/20 or 90/10 depending on your preference. If using higher fat content meat, you might want to drain the grease after browning it in the pressure cooker. 

Topping suggestions for Instant Pot Taco Pasta:

This dish is already delicious on its own. However, if you want to enhance the flavors, we suggest topping the pasta with Mexican cheeses mix, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream. 

Also, try topping it with Homemade Pico de Gallo, or even some Chipotle Sauce

Can I make Instant Pot Taco Pasta with other meats?

This dish can be made with any ground meats, such as chicken, turkey or pork. Also, the cooking time will still be the same if you use the same amount of ingredients.

Tools/ingredients that I used to make the Best Instant Pot Taco Pasta Recipe:

  • Instant Pot – I use it all the time, I have the 6 quarts one. It makes weeknight meals so much easier.

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Taco Pasta is creamy, hearty and extra cheesy, easily made in the Instant Pot without pre-cooking the pasta. Serve it with you favorite toppings.
5 from 7 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 524kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoon Taco seasoning (depends how you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chunky salsa (medium spice)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 8 oz shell pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese


  • Set Instant Pot to Saute.
  • Once the IP is hot add the oil and wait for it to start simmering.
  • Add the ground beef, let it cook without moving for about 1 minute, to get a nice sear on it. After that, break it up using a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Once the ground beef has browned, add chopped onion and minced garlic, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, taco seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the salsa and stir, add beef broth and stir to combine. Scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any bits that stuck to it to avoid burning.
  • Add pasta and stir to combine.
  • Cover and seal the lid. Make sure the valve points to Sealed. Change the setting to manual and adjust the time to 5 minutes on High Pressure.
  • Once Instant Pot beeps to show that it's done, do a quick release, by changing the position of the valve to Vent. Carefully remove cover and stir.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Top with shredded cheese, put the lid back on but don't seal. Allow a minute or two for the cheese to start to melt. Stir to combine.
  • Serve with favorite toppings: sour cream, fresh salsa, jalapeños, avocado, and fresh cilantro.



Serving: 0g | Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1097mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg
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Made this tonight. A little oily. I would eliminate the canola oil and just brown the beef next time. Otherwise it was very tasty!



We love this recipe and it's in our normal dinner rotation after the first time I made it. It's super easy, quick, tasty, and great left over! We usually just add the cheese as a topping with tortilla strips or over a bed of tortilla chips and pico once its cooked and don't mix it into the pasta.


Yum love the topping suggestions!



Made this for the first time tonight and the results were delicious. I used ground turkey and chicken broth instead of the beef. Also I had penne and therefore used it, I think it may be a little more dense and would have benefited from an extra minute under pressure. For me the two tablespoons of taco seasoning is the way to go. Next time I think I will try adding in additional vegetables, some combination of diced tomatoes, corn and black beans is what I am thinking. Thank you for posting a wonderful recipe.



I made this with whatever I had leftover. I didn’t feel like thawing or using frozen ground beef, so instead I chopped up leftover rotisserie chicken. I thought that since I making this with chicken, to use chicken broth, but guess what, I was out, so I used beef broth. I also made this with penne pasta. With a few extra spices (I like my stuff spicy), it turned out soo good!



This is one of our favorite dinners!! If you double the recipe do you double the time?


Same cooking time!



I absolutely NEVER comment on recipes on the internet but this one deserves it! This was amazing. My cooking skills are terrible and I was able to pull this off pretty easily. I followed the directions PRECISELY but omitted the red pepper flakes as my homemade taco seasoning already had some heat. When I got to the part of pouring the broth in and the dry pasta shells in, I hesitated a bit. I felt like there just was not enough liquid to make the dry pasta shells wet and I feared having the shells undercooked or crunchy. I poured about another 1/2 cup of beef broth, maybe even an entire cup (to make it a total of 3 cups). I felt like it was the right thing to do because the end result was amazing, I'm still in shock. But, I do feel that 2 cups of broth is a bare minimum and that it still end up amazing if you think it looks like you need to add more broth to cover enough of the dry shells. I used one package of Kraft shredded Mexican cheese and the package ends up being exactly two cups. This recipe has been saved for life. Thank you Catalina and thank you Instant Pot inventor! LOL. I will be experimenting with this recipe and changing over to shredded chicken and chicken broth, only in the interest of reducing red meat intake. Thanks again!


Hi!!! I am so happy that you loved the recipe, thanks for the detailed feedback!



This was a great recipe!!! Every ingredient was spot on. Usually I have to tweek it but not this one!! Fast and easy. Definitely a keeper.


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