This Vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Pasta is a delicious one-pot meal made using pasta, black beans, and veggies like bell peppers, and corn. Loaded with Mexican flavors, this taco pasta is cheesy, spicy, tasty, and ready in 30 mins. A healthy and family-friendly recipe that's perfect for weeknights and lunchbox!!
My family loves pasta and now with the younger one joining the club, it's even better. As much as we love Italian food, we love the Mexican flavors too. So here's combining the best of both worlds - Taco Pasta!!
I've been using one-pot cooking a lot lately and I love using my Instant Pot for such one-pot meals. So here is an easy full-proof vegetarian recipe for Instant Pot Taco Pasta.
About The Recipe
Taco Pasta is a Mexican flavored pasta dish made with pasta of choice, beans, veggies, taco-inspired seasoning, and a sauce made with tomato sauce and salsa.
It's delicious as is or can be served with a variety of toppings like cheese, cilantro, avocado, more salsa, and sour cream
This one-pot Taco pasta is our current favorite and we cannot have enough of it!!
It's a really easy recipe, almost like a dump-and-go type that is perfect for busy weeknights, gatherings, potlucks, and lunchbox too.
This vegetarian taco pasta is a healthy, nutritious, vegetarian (can be made vegan and gluten-free too) one-pot meal that can be easily customized.
Pasta - You can use pasta of choice but I find the elbows, shell pasta, rotini, and mini penne pair extremely well with this dish.
If you are looking for a gluten-free pasta option for this recipe then try the Modern Table Pasta - with only three plant-based ingredients, the plain pasta are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Veggies - I use red bell pepper, and frozen corn for this recipe, you can also use other veggies like mushrooms, carrots, and peas too.
Aromatics - Ginger, garlic, and onions. Depending on your spice preference you can add or skip the jalapenos.
Spices - I prefer to use a combination of taco seasoning and other spices like cumin powder, oregano, red chili powder, black pepper, and salt for maximum flavor. You can also just double the quantity of taco seasoning and use it if other spices are not available.
Black beans - I use canned black beans for this recipe.
Sauce - For the sauce, I like combining equal portions of tomato sauce and salsa. You can do all salsa or tomato sauce too.
Cheese - use a Mexican cheese blend or of choice.
Oil: Some canola or olive oil for cooking. Butter can be used for a richer and nonvegan option.
Water or broth: You can use broth of choice or simply use water. I prefer using water mixed with better than bouillon vegetable base to create my broth. But you can use your favorite one or gluten-free option.
Cilantro and green onions - for serving and garnishing. You can also add avocado.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How to make Instant Pot Taco Pasta (Step by Step Method)
1 and 2 - Start Instant Pot on sauté mode and heat the oil. Add ginger garlic followed by onions and jalapeños. Sauté for 2-3 minutes
3 - Add veggies - bell pepper and corn and sauté for a minute.
4 - Stir in the spices - red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, pepper, and taco seasoning. Mix until well combined. Turn off the Instant pot sauté mode at this point.
5 - Add broth and mix well. Add in the pasta and with the spatula push the pasta under the broth or liquid.
6 - Layer the sauce and salsa on top followed by black beans but do not mix.
7 - Close the Instant Pot with its lid. Press the manual/ pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Once cooking time is done, quickly (but carefully) release all the pressure.
8 - Stir the pasta gently to mix everything.
9 - Garnish with cilantro and green onion. You can also add cheese if you like, I usually add it while serving. Taco Pasta is ready for serving.
Serve this Instant Pot Taco pasta immediately warm topped with cheese (as much as you like) and some more cilantro and green onions. You can also add avocado and sour cream for a more creamy texture.
This Taco pasta is a complete meal on its own but you can pair it with some cheesy garlic bread or salad too.
The cooking time and liquid quantity can vary based on the type of pasta used. The cooking time and liquid quantity mentioned in the recipe work best for Elbow macaroni, pasta shells, rotini, mini penne, or farfalle pasta.
To derive the cooking time for pasta in Instant Pot half the time on the pasta box minus 1 minute.
Depending on your spice preference you can add or skip adding jalapeños. Likewise, adjust the quantity of taco seasoning to your liking.
You can use a combination of salsa and tomato sauce or either of them based on your taste preference. You can also replace the tomato sauce with tomato puree or marinara sauce. The taste will vary accordingly but still delicious!
To make cheesy taco pasta, add the cheese after opening and mixing the pasta, and close the lid for 2 mins for the cheese to melt.
This pasta is best served immediately or else it can get overcooked.
If there is water left after opening the lid, mix and close the lid for 5-10 mins and the pasta will soak up all the liquid.
You can also cook this pasta on the stovetop, cook the pasta separately as per package instructions and then add it to the prepared sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
This taco pasta recipe is vegan, just skip the cheese at the end or use vegan cheese.
Allow the pasta to cool completely to room temperature and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To serve, reheat in a pan or microwave until warm.
To make taco pasta gluten-free, substitute pasta with gluten-free pasta of choice like the Modern Table Pasta - with only three plant-based ingredients, the plain pasta is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Also, ensure the taco seasoning is gluten-free.
More Pasta Recipes
More Mexican Recipes
Hope you enjoy this Easy Vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Pasta !! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Vegetarian Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- 1 pound pasta shells or macaroni, penne, rotini
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 jalapeño chopped (optional)
- 1 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup corn kernels using frozen
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder or paprika, adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1-2 cups Mexican cheese blend shredded
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 4 spring onions greens chopped
- Start Instant Pot on sauté mode and heat the oil. Add ginger garlic followed by onions and jalapeños. Sauté for 2-3 minutes
- Add veggies - bell pepper and corn and sauté for a minute.
- Stir in the spices - red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, pepper, and taco seasoning. Mix until well combined. Turn off the Instant pot sauté mode at this point.
- Add broth and mix well. Add in the pasta and with the spatula push the pasta under the broth or liquid.
- Layer the sauce and salsa on top followed by black beans but do not mix.
- Close the Instant Pot with its lid. Press the manual/ pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
- Once cooking time is done, quickly (but carefully) release all the pressure. Stir the pasta gently to mix everything.
- Taco Pasta is ready! Serve it immediately, warm topped with cheese (as much as you like), cilantro, and green onions. You can also add avocado and sour cream for a more creamy texture.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Jan 30, 2019, but was republished with, step-by-step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in April of 2022.
Jan 30, 2019 - Thank you Modern Table for sponsoring this post. This delicious, complete protein pasta is made from just three plant-based ingredients -- eat clean with Modern Table pasta today!