Instant Pot Taco Pasta - Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free - Danielle Walker

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. 

Dairy-Free Instant Pot Taco Pasta pictured in white bowls with a variety of toppings such as jalapenos, avocados, lettuce and tomatoes


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.

Dairy-Free Instant Pot Taco Pasta pictured in white bowls with a variety of toppings such as jalapenos, avocados, lettuce and tomatoes


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. 

dairy-free skillet queso dip on a wooden cutting board with sliced carrots and cucumbers, grain-free chips

Watch me make Taco Pasta on Instagram!

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



Dairy-Free Instant Pot Taco Pasta

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Danielle Walker
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: InstantPot
  • Cuisine: American



*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.


  1. 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.
  2. Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing. Select manual pressure on high and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  3. 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.



Instant Pot Taco Pasta – Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

close up image of instant pot taco pasta in a bowl with toppings


  1. Tera says:

    Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. My family loved it! I used cassava noodles. This will be a new staple at our house. Thank you, Danielle!

  2. Amy says:

    I am gluten, intolerant and dairy intolerant. And have been for almost 20 years. But my husband is not and has been reluctant to try things that are dairy free and gluten-free. So I usually cook two meals but lately as we get older, he has been willing to try. He is loves Danielle’s recipes absolutely loves them. I make them all the time I have all her cookbooks. And I thought this recipe of the taco pasta would be a really great one to try because it involves the dairy free And gluten-free queso. He loved it. He asked for more he took it for lunch today for work. it’s easy to make and it’s just delicious. Don’t be afraid try it you can always make a small batch and try but I guarantee you you will want to make a big batch and have leftovers. I am grateful to Danielle for the time she takes in creating her recipes and I love her cookbooks they’re easy to use and make delicious results.

  3. JenC says:

    Made this last night and it is ridiculously delicious. Total family favorite and will be in our regular rotation. Thank you for creating this healthier, GF and yummy version of hamburger helper!

  4. Michelle Y says:

    SO good!!!! I wasn’t sure if I’d like this recipe, but I was so wrong. All of us had seconds and my husband told me this is an absolute make again. That’s a big deal coming from him. I sautéed 1lb of ground turkey with taco seasoning and stirred in after it was done cooking in the instant pot. Made steamed string beans to go with it. Highly recommend!!!! Your magic continues DW!

  5. Carla says:

    Hi Danielle,
    I wanted to make the correction you noted above to my copy of Healthy in a Hurry, but can’t find the recipe in my book! Not under Pasta or Instant Pot or Tacos. Where am I going wrong? I LOVE all your recipes. You saved me when I changed my diet due to autoimmune issues.
    Thanks, Danielle.

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! The correction is for my Skillet “Queso” – you can find that recipe on page 226. Thank you so much for your support!

  6. Juli K says:

    I didn’t use my instapot.. mainly because I find it a pain in the rear to use (I know. I’m extra basic)
    So I used the stovetop to make it, and definitely kept stirring on the regular to make sure it didn’t burn…the queso itself, I swear, is really something special.

    To reheat for kids lunches the next day I used almond milk to break up the thickness but I’m 100% sure more bone broth could be used as well, I just didn’t have any on hand.

  7. Kristin says:

    I’ve tried brown rice pasta in the instant pot and it never worked out. Always came out mushy. This recipe was PERFECT! I used Danielle’s queso recipe from the website and then added ground turkey. Amazing flavor and the texture is just right. Picky 6 year old loves it too. 😅

  8. Tarrie says:

    I am a bit frustrated about printing your recipes. I go to print them only to have ads cover up part of the recipe.
    Is that because you would rather us not print them?

    • Danielle says:

      I’m so sorry you are having trouble and thanks for letting us know! The recipe is formatted to print without ads if you click the print recipe button within the recipe card.
      If you print the entire blog page, I believe your printer will copy what it sees and that would include ads. The print button seems to be functioning on our end but please email and let us know if you continue to have issues.

  9. Christina says:

    Hey Danielle! I don’t have Healthy in A Hurry yet but wanted to know, does the skillet queso include cashews? If so, do you list a substitute in the book?

  10. Karla Powell says:

    I have noticed the recipes are very light font and are challenging to read-is this FB or do you have control over that option?

    • Danielle says:

      I think this is specific to Facebook. Perhaps try to view the recipe through to see it more clearly?

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