Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
Prep the ingredients for this Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta the night before and then start it cooking in your crock pot when you are ready. With just 10 minutes prep, this comforting pasta dish couldn’t be easier or faster to make!
An 8 year old, a 5 year old, a 2 ½ year old and a newborn. Four kids, each with their own needs and schedules… suffice it to say that life in our house is currently full of crazy moments!
Luckily the three older kids are in school some of the time. Their school schedules are all different, but I do have a few quiet hours with just the baby each week. And when he’s napping during that time, it’s the best! I like to use those quiet morning hours to catch up on chores around the house and write blog posts.
I could take a break from sharing recipes for a while, but I really do enjoy it. So as long as I can find a few minutes here and there to write, I’ll be sending new recipes your way. I have quite a few already tested and photographed, so most of the work is done. 🙂
In this busy season of life, my slow cooker is like my best friend. It’s the easiest way for me to get dinner on the table. Once all of the kids are home from school, it can be nearly impossible for me to get into the kitchen to cook a meal. Getting the food on plates, pouring milk, and getting everyone washed and to the table is difficult enough!
This Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta is a new recipe that I fell in love with at first bite. The flavor is spot on, and it’s just the kind of warm comfort food you want after a long day. Cheesy pasta with ground beef and your favorite taco flavors… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
When I created this recipe, I wanted it to be as easy as possible. My first thought was to make it a no chopping required recipe, like this Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup. But I really wanted some sneaky veggies in this taco pasta so I added a chopped bell pepper. In the tips section below I’ve suggested ways you can add even more vegetables to this Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta, if you like.
We’re using taco seasoning plus 1 cup of jarred salsa to flavor this Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta. Using salsa is one of my favorite tricks for getting lots of flavor into a recipe with zero effort. For the taco seasoning, I like to use my homemade taco seasoning recipe, since the flavor and nutrition profile is much better than store bought. I always keep some of my homemade taco seasoning stocked in my spice drawer.
Tips for making this Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta:
- I couldn’t live without my 5 quart slow cooker. It’s reasonably priced and programmable. I love it!
- You can add chopped onion, chopped fresh spinach, and/or finely chopped carrot to this recipe to get even more nutritious vegetables into your meal.
- You can substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
- You can add a can of beans, rinsed and drained (pinto or black beans would be good) to the recipe as written, or substitute two cans of beans for the beef to make this meal vegetarian.
Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- salt and pepper
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup jarred salsa I used mild
- 15 ounce can corn drained
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning I use this easy recipe
- 2 ½ cups water or low sodium chicken broth I used one 14.5 ounce can chicken broth plus enough water to total 2 ½ cups
- 12 ounces shell pasta shapes whole grain or white
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook the meat, stirring often, until browned. Transfer beef to slow cooker.
- Add the bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, salsa, corn, taco seasoning, and broth or water. Stir.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
- Stir in the pasta. Cook on high for 10-20 minutes. Pasta cook time will vary by slow cooker, begin checking for doneness at 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese and serve.
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