You all dubbed my Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs the “Magic Meatball Pasta” on Instagram, so I’m bringing you another variation…Instant Pot Taco Pasta! All cooked in one pot, at the same time. And it takes 5 minutes after it comes to pressure. Yes, you read that correctly!
I know now that having “leftover” queso is about as likely as having “leftover” bacon. But trust me, you’re going to want to save 3 cups of your Dairy-Free Skillet Queso from Healthy in a Hurry (page 226) to make this creamy and delectable easy weeknight meal.
HAMBURGER HELPER TAUGHT ME TO COOK
Some of the first meals I learned how to make were straight from the box, courtesy of the helping hand of Hamburger Helper. The Stroganoff is absolutely what inspired both of my Stroganoff recipes (Meals Made Simple page 150, and the newest Instant Pot version from Healthy in a Hurry page 221), and I have long wanted to create a version of the Creamy Nacho Pasta. Mom used to put shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and lots of cheese on top of our heaping bowls.
I knew that my “Skillet Queso” — a luxuriously silky sauce made of all veggies — would be amazing in this, and would speed up the whole process. If you don’t have a copy of my newest cookbook yet, the current recipe originated from this recipe and was given an upgrade for the book! The cookbook recipe takes the original sauce to the next level when it’s mixed together with a few new ingredients, my Whole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free certified Taco Seasoning, and browned ground beef or turkey. Chili’s skillet queso was obviously the inspiration here!
While it has a very different texture and flavor, you can take a shortcut and use Siete’s queso here and just add ground beef or turkey and my taco seasoning. For those instructions, see my notes beneath the recipe.
This “cheese” sauce is already loaded with vegetables and fruits (carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatillos, onions), but you could absolutely sneak some extra vegetables into this pasta if you wanted to add even more nutrients to it for your kiddos. They won’t even know 😉
My suggestions would be diced bell peppers, chopped kale or Swiss chard, and diced jicama for a corn-like crunch. You can throw them right on top of the queso and cook in the Instant Pot all at the same time.
If you’re planning for the big Super Bowl, I’d double or even tripling the recipe for “queso”! That way you can have enough for both dipping chips on game day and some to store in the freezer to use in this recipe! I suggest freezing it in silicone muffin molds so it defrosts quickly. I add 1/4 cup of bone broth to the pan for about 3 cups of frozen queso “pucks.” Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
It will look a tad bit curdled before you heat it, but as soon as it simmers and you whisk it back together, it’s as good as fresh! Defrosting and keeping the queso warm in a slow cooker for the big game works really well too!
You can also add the frozen “queso pucks” directly to this pasta before putting the lid on the Instant Pot, no defrosting required!
Side note for all the owners of first editions of Healthy in a Hurry: It was brought to our attention that the publisher made a mistake when editing and printing the book. The recipe should read that the meat is browned in the Instant Pot and drained before adding the puréed sauce back in along with the tomato paste and taco seasoning. It will totally work the way it is printed, it will just be a bit more greasy if your beef has a lot of fat. Also be sure to cook the beef all the way through, of course, before eating.
Watch me make Taco Pasta on Instagram!
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Looking for more Mexican inspired recipes like this one? Try one of these!
Paleo-Style Restaurant Salsa
Grain-Free Seven Layer Taco Dip
Paleo Salsa Chicken Tacos
SHOP THE RECIPEPrint
Dairy-Free Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: InstantPot
- Cuisine: American
- 12-ounces dried gluten free pasta (brown rice, cassava, or chickpea)
- 3 cups Skillet Queso (Healthy in a Hurry pg. 226)*
- 2 cups beef bone broth
- 1/2 cup store-bought salsa of choice
- 1 teaspoon Healthy in a Hurry Taco Seasoning
- Optional toppings: avocado, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, cilantro
*Queso can be added fresh or defrosted, or added as frozen “pucks” from silicone muffin molds. The cook time will not change.
If using store-bought dairy-free queso, brown 1/2 pound ground meat of choice, and mix with 2 teaspoons tomato paste + 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning. Stir it into the store-bought queso before adding to the pot.
- Add the pasta to the insert of the InstantPot. Add the broth, the salsa, then the queso. Sprinkle Taco Seasoning on top. Do not stir.
- Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing. Select manual pressure on high and set the timer for 5 minutes.
- When the timer is finished, immediately release (or “quick release”) the pressure. Remove the lid and stir the pasta well. Serve hot with desired toppings.
Keywords: dairy free, gluten free, Danielle walker, against all grain, paleo, dinner, instant pot, quick, easy