This Queso Taco Pasta Bake is the perfect weeknight dinner for your whole family! This cheesy beef casserole could not be more delicious.
The Best Pasta Bake
I think you are going to love this Queso Taco Pasta Bake recipe I developed last week! It’s full of simple everyday pantry items we usually have and full of great Mexican flavors.
I made a homemade queso sauce that you will be tempted to break the tortilla chips out and dive right in….that actually gets mixed in with the pasta and beef making a casserole the whole family is going to love!
Can’t wait to hear how you like this one, it went over great in our family. Enjoy!
How to Make Queso
Let’s start by making the queso. Melt your butter then whisk in your flour, salt and peppa!
Whisk for about 30 seconds then slowly add the chicken broth. You’ll increase the heat, whisking until nice and thick. Takes close to 5 minutes.
Time for some beautiful cheese.
Give it a nice stir, should melt within a minute.
Nice and cheesy.
Add 1/2 cup of your favorite mild salsa and voila’ you’ve got queso. Set this baby aside.
How to Make The Best Taco Casserole
Dice an onion and get it sauteeing in the pan. Add some garlic too.
Brown your ground beef.
Add a lovely can of mild Rotel tomatoes.
Add some cumin and lime juice for a yummy taco meat.
How cute are these pasta noodles?! Found them at World Market, however use any small pasta you like.
Once your noodles are cooked, add them to a big pot with the beef.
Beauty shot 🙂
Time to add that delicious queso sauce.
Give her a good stir, taste, then season a tad bit more if needed.
Transfer to your nice big baking dish.
Top with more shredded cheese please.
I added a little mozzarella too, but use what you like.
This is what comes out of the oven. Pure gorgeousness 🙂 Hope you enjoy this Queso Taco Pasta Bake!
Queso Taco Pasta Bake
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup prepared mild salsa
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onions finely chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz Rotel tomatoes mild
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3/4 lb small pasta of choice
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds until bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth.
- Increase heat to high while whisking until thickened. Takes 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese and salsa, turn off heat and set aside.
- Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add ground beef, salt and pepper, cooking until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Add tomatoes, cumin and lime juice, stir to combine.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water.
- Transfer beef, noodles and queso to a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.
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I Just made this! And while it was delicious, I like tons of flavor! So, to add extra depth of flavor, I added half of a pack of dry ranch dressing seasoning. I would also do what the recipe suggests and add monzerella cheese as well as cheddar (even using the fiesta blend bag of cheese would be good too! Once again, it’s a depth of flavor thing for me 🙂 I am so glad I came upon this recipe, it is definitely a new favorite!!!
This sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it!! In the last part of the directions it says to transfer, beef, noodles and queso to large pot over medium heat. Are you supposed to cook it more before transferring to baking dish and baking?
This looks amazing! I’m going to the store now so I can make this. Thank you so much for having a from scratch queso recipe with easy instructions. I can’t believe I didn’t find this earlier
Why did I never think to pair pasta and mexican before!? Vegetarian foodie here so I took your idea and put my own spin on it. I added peppers, beans, corn and cilantro. It’s currently in the oven but I tried (a few) bites before I put it in and it was delicious! I can’t wait for my family to taste it – my 5 year old with her love of mexican and mac and cheese will be in heaven 🙂
I just knew I needed to come on here and say THANKS for the blueprint of a great recipe!
Found this recipe on Pinterest! I don’t know how I missed it first time around. My husband loves queso and thought this was so good! We added turkey and it was delicious! Your pasta noodles are so cute too!
So glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I LOVED this dish. It was simple (I know because even I could make it) and delicious! I am making this for my whole family this weekend!! Thanks for an awesome recipe, Jenny!
So glad you enjoyed Sarah! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is delicious! I love how the queso had chicken broth in it!
What kind of pasta would you recommend for this?
So I made this last night, but took longer to make than I thought and threw it in the fridge to heat up tonight. Its a great dish. Love the taste. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for commenting!! Glad it worked. 🙂
This was absolutely delicious! Are you sure you used a tablespoon of cumin? That seemed like way too much. I used 1/2 tsp and it had wonderful flavor. I also used rotel with chilies and added some fresh chopped cilantro. Everyone cleaned their plates!
I always go a bit heavy with cumin, because we love it, cut back if you like! Glad you enjoyed!
This recipe was very delicious. I doubled it for our family of 8, & had a small amount of leftovers. While this is delicious, & most of the ingredients are usually in your pantry or freezer, it did take a while to make.
I made this once before with some basic pasta and it was great. Then I found the pasta you used at World Market and immediately ran to get the rest of the ingredients. I’m adding a poblano pepper with the onions and I’ll see how it goes….
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while and I finally made it yesterday…amazing! I used ground turkey instead of beef, and still delicious. I will definitely be making this again soon! (and possible making extra queso for dipping; I couldn’t stop licking the spoon.)
I just made this tonight, and it was a hit with the whole family. I loved all the gooey cheese; it was filling and satisfying. I really liked that the recipe called for a homemade queso, rather than the jarred varieties I have seen used in similar recipes. I will mark this one a winner!
So glad to hear it, thanks for sharing!
I was craving pasta and Mexican, what a great combination! I enjoyed this meal a lot. My husband was looking for more of a spicy heat factor and added some Frank’s to his dish. I also thought that it would be saucier. Next time I will double the cheese sauce and maybe make a section with jalapenos on top for my hubby.
This queso is to die for…I love this dish and the family
loved it…I did not add or delete anything..served it with
Made a ton for our family of 2 adults and two littles. Froze half if it. Planning to thaw and bake another night.
Thanks so much for this recipe! Made it last week … the family loved it!
Just made this tonight for dinner — AMAZING!! My hubby was excited just reading the list of ingredients and looking at your pictures. When it was almost ready for the oven, he said there was no way it could be bad! We loved it, and it may have become our go-to Mexican meal. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!
Looks sooooo good. My small family loves Mexican cuisine. I’m going to have try this as we do similar things at our home but haven’t tried something quite like this.
Can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe!! I found it on Pinterest, made it tonight and it was DELICIOUS!
This is amazing, thank you so much for sharing! Got it off pinterest and I love it!
Tried it tonight. Everyone loved it. Also made the itty bitty chocolate chip/oreo cookies, those were a hit as well. Thank you for sharing.
Made this last night. Doubled the recipe, but only used 1 can of rotel because someone in the house dislikes tomatoes. Everyone loved it! Used a spicy salsa since it was all I had in the house. Had a kick! Also used garlic & onion powders instead of actual onion/garlic because of said picky tomato hater. Great easy recipe, reheats well!
how much is 3/4 lb pasta? and is that cooked or dry? how do i know?
Have you tried making this ahead of time? I take dinner to my in-laws once a week and want to make this but am wondering how it would do made the night before…thoughts?
You are amazing, it’s just a matter of time before you get your own show on The Food Network!
This looks ABSOLUTELY GRUBBIN’. I’m going to cook this tonight. Can’t wait!!Thank you for sharin’ this recipe.
Made this this week and followed recipe exactly. Used whole wheat fusilli pasta. Exquisite!!!! Would not change a thing. Leftovers were just as fabulous!
So glad to hear it Kay! Thanks for the feedback 🙂
The pictures and the food looks very tempting! what kind of camera/lens do you use?
Doesn’t get better than homemade queso & pasta!Can’t wait to try this!
This looks delicious. I LOVE those little pasta noodles. I’ll have to check our local Walmart and see if they carry them there. I hope so! Thanks for sharing.
What a fun way to enjoy Mexican flavors with pasta… and I love the pasta shape!
I made this tonight and my family and I just loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!
Thought.. rather than in the oven for 25-30 mins, since everything is already cooked, could you put it under the broiler for 5 minutes to melt the cheese? The queso & pasta mix reminded me of my mac & cheese. I give it that baked feel by sprinkling cheese on top and a quick stop under the broiler.
I’m always trying to make weeknight meals even faster.
That would totally work Sheila. Hope you enjoy!
Looks great! Any thoughts on how this would freeze as a make-ahead meal? Thanks!