taco mac and cheese photo

Taco Mac and Cheese Recipe

Taco Mac and Cheese is an easy weeknight dinner that takes about 30 minutes or so to make. You will need a pot for the pasta, a sauce pan for the cheese sauce, and a pan to cook the meat mixture. We actually cook all three that the same time so that at the end all we have to do is combine and eat. It really isn’t as hard as it looks, there are just a lot of steps. Let me tell you though, the effort is worth it because my entire family loves this recipe. It makes enough for leftovers so that my family of four can have left over mac and cheese, and we use the meat sauce to make burritos the night after.

What I also like about this recipe is the fact that even my picky eater still enjoys the mac and cheese portion, while the rest of us add the taco meat to our meals before we eat. So, if you have a picky eater no worries! You can still have them eat the mac and cheese and a side of veggies.

Taco Mac & Cheese


  • 1 Pound Shells or Elbow macaroni (any shape small pasta you like)
  • For the Meat Sauce:
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Small to Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, Minced
  • 2 TBSP Chili powder
  • 1 TBSP Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano, dried
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • For Cheese Sauce
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend (we use the type without extra seasonings, usually a 4 cheese blend)


  1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  2. For Meat Sauce
  3. Brown ground beef and onion together in large skillet on medium high heat until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain fat if needed.
  4. Add Garlic to ground beef and onion mixture and cook for a few moments
  5. Add Chili powder, Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, and Salsa and stir to combine
  6. Allow to simmer over low heat while you complete the rest of the meal
  7. For Cheese Sauce
  8. Add Cream Cheese, Milk, and Sour Cream to sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir until cream cheese is melted and mixture begins to thicken. Slowly add the cheese, stirring as you add. Continue stirring until mixture is bubbly.
  9. Drain pasta and return to pain.
  10. Add cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  11. This is your mac and cheese portion of the meal. Instead of combining the meat mixture at this point, we keep it separate so that we can make burritos the next night with the left over meat mixture.
  12. Portion the mac and cheese among bowls and add the meat mixture on top. Add additional salsa on top, if desired.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

My family loves this recipe and I’ve been known to make it a couple of times a month. It’s a great variation on plain mac and cheese, or even traditional tacos. Take a look at out taco seasoning recipe, as well if you are wanting to make traditional tacos. Enjoy!

Adapted from recipe on The Frugal Navy Wife.

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