Taco Mac

If you, like me, revel in the sheer delight of assembling flavors and textures in one pan and watching magic happen, then you’re in for a treat.

I’ve got a recipe that combines the zest of tacos with the comfort of macaroni. Say hello to Taco Mac!

Ground beef simmering in a medley of spices, hugged by velvety macaroni, all encased in a saucy, tomatoey goodness. And did I mention there’s cheese involved?

Why You Will Love Taco Mac

This dish brings together the comfort of macaroni and the spiciness of tacos, creating an unforgettable fusion that’s bound to become your next weeknight favorite. Plus, it’s incredibly efficient—everything cooks together in one skillet, making both cooking and clean-up a breeze!


  1. Opt for High-Quality Beef: Trust me, the better the beef, the better the dish.
  2. Stir Occasionally: While simmering, make sure to stir the mix occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Taste Test: Don’t forget to taste as you go along. Adjust seasoning according to your preference.

The Ingredients

Ground Beef

The star of the show! Ground beef lends that hearty, protein-packed punch to the dish.

Elbow Macaroni

This classic pasta shape is ideal for soaking up all the flavors and contributes to the comfort food vibe.

Spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, and Garlic Powder

This trio brings the “taco” in Taco Mac, infusing the dish with a medley of warm, aromatic, and spicy flavors.

Tomato Sauce and Crushed Tomatoes

These two team up to give our dish a saucy texture and rich tomato flavor.

Frozen Corn

A nod to classic taco ingredients, corn adds a pop of sweetness and color.

Shredded Cheese

Melted cheese adds a creamy, tangy layer that perfectly complements the spicy meat and pasta.

How to Make Taco Mac

Step 1: Brown the Beef and Onion

Start by browning the ground beef and diced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the beef turns a luscious brown and the onions become translucent, drain off any excess oil. This sets the stage for a flavorful base.

Step 2: Season the Meat

Immediately stir in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well to ensure the beef and onions absorb all the spices. This is where the taco essence really starts to shine.

Step 3: Add the Pasta and Liquids

Now, pour in the elbow macaroni, beef stock, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes. The stock and tomatoes will act as the liquid medium for cooking the macaroni.

Step 4: Bring to a Boil, then Simmer

Increase the heat and bring your skillet’s contents to a rapid boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the skillet with a lid. This is when the magic happens: the flavors meld together, and the macaroni absorbs the beautiful, spicy, beefy broth.

Step 5: Stir Occasionally

While simmering, don’t forget to lift the lid and give everything a good stir from time to time. This ensures that the macaroni cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet. Keep simmering until the macaroni turns tender, which should take about 15 – 20 minutes.

Step 6: Add the Corn

Once you’re happy with the texture of your macaroni, stir in the frozen corn. This not only adds color but also a delightful crunch and sweetness that contrasts well with the spicy, meaty backdrop.

Step 7: Top with Cheese and Serve

To round off this deliciousness, sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese over the top. Give it a minute to melt into gooey perfection. Now, your Taco Mac is ready to rock your dinner table! Serve it hot and relish the amazing blend of flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot, right out of the skillet, or transfer to individual bowls. A dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of chopped cilantro makes for excellent garnish. And don’t forget a side of tortilla chips for that extra crunch!


  • You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a lighter option.
  • If you don’t have elbow macaroni, any small pasta like shells or penne will do.
  • Feel free to use vegetable stock instead of beef stock for a vegetarian version.


  • Large Skillet with a Lid
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons


How can I store leftovers?

Simply transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. It keeps well for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, Taco Mac freezes well. Just make sure to let it cool before transferring to a freezer-safe container.

Is this dish kid-friendly?

Absolutely, but you may want to adjust the spiciness to suit younger palates.

Taco Mac

Whip up a comforting, delicious meal with Taco Mac—a one-skillet wonder blending hearty ground beef, macaroni, and zesty spices. Easy clean-up and family-friendly!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Taco Mac


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Optional: Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Optional: Sour cream for serving


  • Brown ground beef and diced onion in a large skillet. Drain excess oil and mix in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Add elbow macaroni, beef stock, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes to the skillet.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remember to stir occasionally.
  • Mix in frozen corn until heated through. Top with shredded cheese and serve immediately.