One-Pot Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey

An easy recipe for One-Pot Taco Pasta with ground turkey, bell pepper, beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. A healthy, dairy-free pasta recipe that is ready in just under 30 minutes!

overhead shot of two servings of one-pot taco pasta with ground turkey

This Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey will forever and always have my heart!

Ask anybody what their favorite food is and the probability of it being either a) tacos or b) pasta is pretty high!

Why it took me so long to arrive at the conclusion that you can actually combine those things, I DO NOT KNOW. Enter Taco Pasta, a fusion of Pasta – the ultimate comfort food, and tacos – those delightful folded juicy morsels of flavor.

Trust me, I am all about tasty mash-ups because decisions are tough. In life, in general, and with food in particular. And I am of the opinion that if we go through the effort of cooking ourselves a delicious healthy meal, we deserve to have it all!

Now that Taco Pasta finally stepped into my life, I’m happy to be making up for the lost time. So Taco Pasta is a thing in my home now and I am pretty sure it will also be a welcome addition to your weeknight dinner rotation!  Creamy, spicy, savory, comforting, oh-so-tasty and nutritious!

overhead shot of two plates of easy one-pot Taco Pasta made with ground turkey topped with cilantro andavocado

So join me gals! We can have our tacos AND pasta and eat it ALL because this is a dairy-free and healthy pasta recipe! And have I mentioned that it all cooks in ONE PAN?

Reasons to love this easy Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey:

  • It comes together so quickly in just 25 minutes.
  • All you need is one pot – no dirty dishes piling up in the sink!
  • The fresh vegetables added to the pasta will leave you with a great tummy feeling!
  • By adding lots of typical Mexican spices, as well as tomatoes, and salsa we make this Taco Pasta taste well-rounded and absolutely fiesta-worthy.
  • This recipe is awesome for healthy meal prep as it reheats beautifully. Cook it tonight and enjoy the leftovers whenever you are craving tacos or pasta. Or both.
  • Huge fun factor: just like at the tacos bar, you can play around and load up your plate of pasta with all of your favorite fixings! Think avocados, cilantro, and yogurt or sour cream.
  • It is a real crowd-pleaser – even fuzzy eaters will devour this One-Pot taco pasta

 

overhead shot of a big pot with healthy one pot taco pasta with a wooden spoon in the pot and a striped kitchen towel on the side

How to make this recipe for Taco Pasta:

Step 1 & 2 –  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You want to make sure you have a fitting lid for this skillet for later. When the oil is hot, add turkey, onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces.

picture collage demonstrating how to sautee ground turkey with onions, bell pepper, tomato paste and spiced for making one-pot taco pasta recipe

Step 3 & 4Add garlic, tomato paste, spices, and salt. Stir well, making sure all the ground turkey is nicely coated and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring often.

a picture collage demonstrating how to make one-pot taco pasta recipe with ground turkey

Step 5Add in tomato sauce, salsa, beans, pasta, and 2 cups water. Give it a good stir until all the ingredients are well combined.

Step 6Cover and cook on medium-low until pasta is cooked through. Check every 2-3 minutes to stir and check if it needs more water. If you see that the pasta starts sticking to the pan, add a bit more water (half a cup at a time) and repeat until pasta is cooked (I used 2 1/2 cups total). Taste the pasta to know when it’s done. With rotini, it took me about 9 minutes until they were cooked al dente.

Serve with your favorite taco toppings (I love cilantro and avocado chunks).

Toppings for One-Pot Taco Pasta:

  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Pickled Nopales
  • Avocado, cut into chunks
  • Green Onion, chopped
  • Jalapeño, sliced (remove the seeds for less heat)
  • Greek yogurt (leave out to keep dairy-free)
  • Cheese (cheddar, queso fresco, cotija) (leave out to keep dairy-free)
  • Roma or Cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Red onion, chopped thinly

FAQs:

Which type of pasta shall I use for this one-pot recipe? 

I used rotini but you can use any small-sized pasta for this taco pasta recipe. Shells, penne or rigatoni pasta would work well. To make the one-pot pasta recipe even healthier and more wholesome, I recommend whole wheat pasta.

Can I make this recipe for one-pot pasta with beef/ground chicken?

Yes, absolutely!

Can I make this pasta recipe with leftover cooked pasta? 

Yes, you can! Prepare the sauce as per instructions but leave out the 2 cups of water. Simmer until nice and thick and season to taste. Then just add the pasta right in the end and let it all simmer for about 2 minutes more.

How to make this recipe spicier/milder:

Even though this Mexican-inspired pasta recipe is not particularly spicy, you can always opt for a very mild salsa. If kids are  sharing this meal with you, you can also scale back on the amount of cumin and chili powder.

If you want to make this spicier, kick up the spice with some ancho chile and/or chipotle powder.

close-up of two servings of one-pot taco pasta loaded with Mexican topping like cilantro and avocado

Tips for making this recipe for One-Pot Pasta with Ground Turkey:

  • If you happen to have taco seasoning in your pantry, you could add 2 1/2 tbsps of that instead of the seasonings listed in the recipe. If salt is added to the spice mix, reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe to taste.
  • Want an extra creamy (yet not dairy-free) taco pasta? Once the pasta has finished cooking, add about two ounces of cut up full-fat cream cheese and let it melt into the pasta mixture. Stir and serve.
  • If you want full control of all ingredients, I recommend you make your own salsa. This is what I tend to do using this recipe as a guideline.
overhead shot of a serving of one pot taco pasta with ground turkey
5 from 3 votes
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One-Pot Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey

An easy recipe for One-Pot Taco Pasta with ground turkey, bell pepper, beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. A healthy, dairy-free pasta recipe that is ready in just under 30 minutes!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword one pot pasta recipe, pasta with ground turkey, taco pasta recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 442 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey - 450 grams
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce passata, marinara
  • 1 cup salsa recipe linked in notes
  • 12 oz rotini pasta 340 grams, – about 4 cups (more or less depending on size of pasta) – or your favorite small shape pasta like shells, or penne.
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups water + more as needed

Optional taco toppings

  • Cilantro roughly chopped
  • Avocado cut into chunks
  • Green Onion chopped
  • Jalapeño sliced (remove the seeds for less heat)
  • Greek yogurt leave out to keep dairy free
  • Cheese cheddar, queso fresco, cotija (leave out to keep dairy free)
  • Roma or Cherry tomatoes chopped
  • Red onion chopped thinly

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (make sure you have a lid for this skillet for later). 

  2. When oil is hot, add turkey, onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces.

  3. Add garlic, tomato paste, spices and salt. Stir well, making sure all the turkey is coated and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add in tomato sauce, salsa, beans, pasta and 2 cups water. Give it a good stir until all the ingredients are well combined. 

    Cover and cook on medium-low until pasta is cooked through. 

    Check every 2-3 minutes to stir and check if it needs more water. If you see that the pasta starts sticking to the pan, add a bit more water (half a cup at a time) and repeat until pasta is cooked (I used 2 1/2 cups total). 

    Taste the pasta to know when it’s done (with rotini, it took me about 9 minutes)

  5. Serve with your favorite taco toppings (I love cilantro and avocado chunks).

Recipe Notes

 

  • If you happen to have taco seasoning in your pantry, you could use 2 1/2 tbsps of that instead of the seasonings listed in the recipe. If salt is added to the spice mix, reduce the amount of salt used in the recipe to taste. 
  • Want an extra creamy (yet not dairy-free) taco pasta? Once the pasta has finished cooking, add about two ounces of cut up full-fat cream cheese and let it melt into the pasta mixture. Stir and serve. 
  • If you want full control of all ingredients, I recommend you make your own salsa. This is what I tend to do, using this recipe as a guideline.
Nutrition Facts
One-Pot Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey
Amount Per Serving (1 /6th)
Calories 442 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 1020mg 43%
Potassium 1013mg 29%
Total Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 7g
Protein 33g 66%
Vitamin A 35.8%
Vitamin C 38.6%
Calcium 7.6%
Iron 24.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

f you tried this recipe for One Pot Taco Pasta with Ground Turkey, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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posted in
All Seasons Recipes Clean Eating Dairy Free Main Dishes Meal Prep Meat Pasta Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Turkey
6 Comments
  1. I love one pot meals! I’m a busy mom and don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen esp cleaning up! I love the idea for different toppings. thanks!

  2. I loved this variation of my similar taco dish. The ground turkey tasted so much like beef that the family didn’t even know the difference. It was so easy to make and clean up that I know I’ll be making this often. Thanks for the recipe!

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