Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Sharing my Queso Taco Pasta Bake recipe today!
Queso Taco 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!

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Let’s start by making the queso. Melt your butter then whisk in your flour, salt and peppa!

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

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.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Time for some beautiful cheese.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Give it a nice stir, should melt within a minute.

Nice and cheesy.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Add 1/2 cup of your favorite mild salsa and voila’ you’ve got queso. Set this baby aside.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Dice an onion and get it sauteeing in the pan. Add some garlic too.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Brown your ground beef.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Add a lovely can of mild Rotel tomatoes.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Add some cumin and lime juice for a yummy taco meat.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

How cute are these pasta noodles?! Found them at World Market, however use any small pasta you like.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Once your noodles are cooked, add them to a big pot with the beef.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Beauty shot ๐Ÿ™‚

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Time to add that delicious queso sauce.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Give her a good stir, taste, then season a tad bit more if needed.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Transfer to your nice big baking dish.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

Top with more shredded cheese please.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

I added a little mozzarella too, but use what you like.

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

This is what comes out of the oven. Pure gorgeousness ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy this Queso Taco Pasta Bake!

Queso Taco Pasta Bake


Queso Taco Pasta Bake

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon 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 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, mild

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3/4 pound small pasta of your choice

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water.

5. 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.

Makes 8 servings

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Queso Taco Pasta Bake

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93 Responses
  1. Mmmm! I am totally digging the pasta right now. Carbs, carbs, carbs! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh, pregnancy…how I love you. ๐Ÿ˜€ This looks amazing. And thank goodness for World Market. I don’t know what I would do without their awesome pastas.

  2. Candice

    Can’t wait to make this! But looking at the print directions, it looks like you left out putting the cheese into the queso at the end of step two.

  3. Jennifer

    I have been looking for a quick and easy queso recipe and the one you made here looks like it could be the one! Have you tried just this queso with tortilla chips? Was it flavorful enough to stand alone?

    1. Hi Jennifer, I tasted it with my finger and it was delicious. You could always add seasonings to your liking ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

      1. Ashley

        I plan on making this with ground turkey….I think that would be another option if you don’t like beef. The chicken or pork sound great as well!

  4. Ohh this looks delicious! Printing this out so I can make this for my hubby & I. We love anything with a taco flavouring to it.

  5. Molly

    So do we use 1 1/2 c. Cheese in the sauce and then 2 c. cheese on top? Is that why there are two cheese entries in the ingredients? Thanks!

  6. I love this recipe! It’s so flavorful, simple, colorful and beautiful! What more can one ask for? You have a wonderful site ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts ๐Ÿ™‚ ) on a new photo based recipe sharing community that launched only last week. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – http://recipenewz.com

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Gwen M

    Made this for supper tonight, it was really good!!!! I might try using grated queso cheese in the queso sauce, maybe add some chopped bell peppers to the meat! But my family loved it!!!!!

    1. Gwen M

      Can’t wait to go to World Market for pasta the next time we go to the city. I used bow tie tonight in mine!

    2. Michelle

      I never heard of queso cheese that you can grate! Where can I find that? I need to try it… been trying to perfect a queso recipe, and so far nothing is nearly as good as restaurant queso.

  8. Ashley

    I made this for dinner tonight since we actually had ALL of the ingredients at home. That rarely happens. We usually have to make a trip to the store for something. It was so yummy and a huge hit at my house! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kimberli

    This looks delicious, I will be making it this week for my family – I don’t think they’ll object too much after I tell them it involves homemade queso!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Now to find a World Market near me to find some of that fun pasta…

  10. OK This recipe looks amazing, however for some reason the beef isn’t working for me… I’m thinking I’d swap out beef for ground turkey thigh meat… Or is that sacrilege?

  11. Kate

    I saw this yesterday (I am new to your blog) and it is in the oven now, can’t wait to try it :o) and to try out some of your other gorgeous looking recipes, I have two very picky toddlers at home and so many of your recipes look like they will be winners. Thank you!

  12. Sheila

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Kay

    Made this this week and followed recipe exactly. Used whole wheat fusilli pasta. Exquisite!!!! Would not change a thing. Leftovers were just as fabulous!

  15. Alicia

    This looks ABSOLUTELY GRUBBIN’. I’m going to cook this tonight. Can’t wait!!Thank you for sharin’ this recipe.

  16. Kelly S.

    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?

  17. Christina

    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!

  18. Terri

    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.

  19. Melissa Crotts

    Can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe!! I found it on Pinterest, made it tonight and it was DELICIOUS!

  20. 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.

  21. Katie

    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!!

  22. Meg's

    Made a ton for our family of 2 adults and two littles. Froze half if it. Planning to thaw and bake another night.

  23. 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
    a salad..amazing!!!!!

  24. Betsy R.

    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.

  25. 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!

  26. Hannah

    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.)

  27. Brooke Browne

    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….

  28. J. Dean

    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.

  29. Noreen

    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!

  30. Amy

    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!

  31. Sarah

    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!

  32. 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!

  33. Allie

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just knew I needed to come on here and say THANKS for the blueprint of a great recipe!

  34. Crystal

    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

  35. Julie

    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?

  36. Macey M

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so glad I came upon this recipe, it is definitely a new favorite!!!

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