Sink your teeth into the ultimate comfort food – Taco Mac and Cheese. This recipe uses simple ingredients like ground beef, spices, cheese, cream, and elbow noodles to create the perfect family dinner that everyone will love.
Savory ground beef meets a creamy cheese sauce for a delicious dinner, just like our Cheeseburger Casserole. If you’re looking for the grown-up version of your favorite childhood meals, then you’ll love this Taco Mac and Cheese. This easy Taco Mac and Cheese is the best of both worlds – tacos and mac and cheese. It’s a great meal for any occasion, whether you are trying to switch up your weeknight dinners or appeasing picky eaters.
What Is Taco Mac and Cheese?
Taco Mac and Cheese consists of basic ingredients like ground beef, cheddar cheese, elbow macaroni, spices, heavy cream, and half and half, creating a delicious meal the whole family will love. If you love tacos and mac and cheese, this is the meal for you.
Why you’ll love this recipe
The Taco Mac and Cheese recipe is a fun and tasty way to enjoy the cozy feeling of mac and cheese from when you were a kid, while also getting the exciting and bold tastes of tacos. It’s like bringing two favorite foods together in one dish, making it a really enjoyable and yummy experience.
- Unsalted butter
- Slices wheat bread – Cut into ½-inch squares
- Unsalted butter
- Cheddar cheese
- Pepper jack cheese
- Elbow noodles
- Ground beef – Seasoned with taco spices of choice
- Cayenne pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Dry mustard
- Grated nutmeg
- Sour cream
- Egg, beaten
- Vidalia or sweet onion
- Tabasco sauce
- Heavy cream
- Half and half
How to Make Mac and Cheese with Ground Beef
Cook the Ground Beef
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked and season with taco seasoning, around 5-7 minutes. Then, drain the excess grease.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread and toast for about 5 to 6 minutes until they turn golden brown. Once done, place them on a paper towel-lined plate. If you like, sprinkle some salt on them for added flavor.
Prepping the Baking Dish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Combine the Pasta and Cheese
In a large bowl, mix the cooked pasta with about ⅔ of the shredded cheese.
Preparing the Creamy Mixture
In another large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, mustard, and nutmeg. Add sour cream, egg, onion, Tabasco, cream, and half and half. Mix well until combined.
Pour the creamy mixture over the pasta and toss to make sure the pasta is coated.
Layering and Preparing for Baking
Put half of the pasta into the greased baking dish. Spread the cooked and seasoned ground beef in an even layer over the pasta. Layer the remaining pasta and creamy mixture over the beef. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top. If you’re feeling adventurous, a touch of smoked paprika can add a bold flavor.
Bake in the oven for around 35-40 minutes, until the cheese on top is turning golden and everything’s bubbling away.
Adding the Crunch
After baking, sprinkle your homemade croutons on top of the dish. Give it another 10 minutes in the oven to make everything beautifully golden.
Take the dish out of the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before you dive in and enjoy. Add your favorite taco toppings and dig in!
What to Serve With Taco Mac Recipe
Serve up this easy recipe with some tortilla chips, black beans, or some of these Mexican staples!
Expert Recipe Tips
- You can use leftover taco meat from taco night to make this recipe even easier!
- If you’re skipping the ground beef, this can be a fantastic side dish. Keep the beef in, and you’ve got a complete meal. You can even add a bit of lettuce on the side for a dash of balance, or serve this Summertime Watermelon and Avocado Salad!
Leftovers and Reheating
Store leftover taco mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat, place your taco mac and cheese in a skillet or saucepan on the stove and cook until heated. Or, you can pop your meal into the microwave and heat it in 30-second increments.
Yes! You can use ground chicken or ground turkey if you prefer!
More Taco Recipes
The perfect blend of cheesy goodness, zesty spices, and the familiar comfort of classic mac and cheese, combined with the bold kick of taco seasoning, has transformed a beloved favorite into a delicious meal the entire family will love. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and let us know if you liked this recipe!
Spicy Taco Mac and Cheese
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 4 slices wheat bread cut into 1/2-inch squares
- 1 tbs unsalted butter
- 8 oz Cheddar cheese - shredded
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese - shredded
- 2 cups elbow pasta - cooked to just under al dente, rinsed and set aside
- 1 lbs ground beef - cooked (drained of fat if needed) and seasoned with taco spices of choice
- 2 tsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg - beaten
- 1/4 cup Vidalia or sweet onion - minced
- 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- Melt the butter for the croutons in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the bread and toast 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Season with salt, if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 x 13? baking dish.
- Toss the cooked pasta in a large bowl with 2/3 of the shredded cheese.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, mustard, nutmeg. Add the sour cream, egg, onion, Tabasco, cream, and half and half. Stir well to combine. Pray for your arteries 😉
- Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss to coat.
- Transfer half of the pasta to the prepared baking dish.
- Add the cooked and seasoned ground beef in a single layer, spreading evenly with the back of your spoon.
- Layer the remaining pasta and sauce over the beef and top with the remaining cheese. (If you’re really feeling bold and daring, sprinkle a little smoked paprika on top).
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese on top is beginning to brown and everything is starting to bubble. Sprinkle your home made croutons on top and bake for another 10 minutes until everything is nice and golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- *Omit the ground beef if you just want a killer side. Leave it in and you’ve got an all in one meal – sprinkle a little lettuce on the side and we can even call it balanced (no, not really). 😉
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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