This Taco Mac is an easy one pot meal made in 30 minutes! With ground beef, macaroni, taco seasoning, and loads of cheddar cheese, it’s an instant favorite!
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This mash up is a long time coming!
Taco Mac is a combination of taco beef and mac and cheese — it is a flavorful, hearty one pot meal that the family loves!
Ground beef is one of our go-tos for easy family meals that are quick to prepare, and we love making a bunch of this Big Batch Beef to keep in the freezer for weeknight dinners made even easier.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you started!
Ingredients and Variations:
- Cooked ground beef: if you don’t have any ground beef prepped, you can easily swap in uncooked ground beef. Simply cook your ground beef with rest of the vegetables right from the start.
- Onions: In the Big Batch Beef recipe, there are onions added, but I like to saute one with my red peppers anyway. You can choose to add onion, or leave it out, depending on your preferences.
- Red Peppers: If you don’t have red peppers, you can swap it out for any color or leave it out if your family doesn’t enjoy them. I will say that even my daughter who doesn’t like peppers loves this Taco Mac and doesn’t notice them in here!
- Taco seasoning: I keep things simple with store bought taco seasoning. You can swap in your own homemade blend, and you can keep it mild or add more seasoning for extra kick. Just keep in mind that low sodium seasoning was used in this recipe.
- Beef broth: I always use low sodium options, and then add salt to taste. If you don’t have beef broth, you can choose another or sub in water, although it won’t be as flavorful.
- Milk: I like to use whole milk as there is a lower chance that it will curdle — higher fat dairy tolerates heat more easily. The milk adds a creamy touch to this Taco Mac and Cheese!
- Rotel tomatoes: using the Rotel canned tomatoes with diced green chiles adds a bunch of flavor, but you can swap in regular diced tomatoes if you prefer. You may find your Taco Mac is a little less flavorfull.
- Cheddar cheese: Cheddar because it is a must in mac and cheese! You can easily swap this out for another variety you have on hand.
What can I prep ahead?
- Cook the ground beef: like I mentioned above, we love having some Big Batch Beef in the freezer for easy meals like this! You can throw it right in the pan from frozen and keep on cooking.
- Chop your vegetables and store in the refrigerator for several days
- Shred your cheese and store in the refrigerator for several days
- Prep the entire recipe and refrigerate up to 4 days. To reheat, place on the stove top in a large skillet and add a generous splash of broth or milk. Cover and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Can I freeze Taco Mac?
You can make this Taco Mac and Cheese and freeze a portion of it for another day!
Simply cook the recipe as the instructions call for, then spread into a freezer-safe baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil.
Freeze up to 3 months.
To reheat, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for several hours. Add a big splash of broth or milk, then pop it into a 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes, until heated through.
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ medium onion (finely diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 lb lean ground beef (cooked or raw)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk (whole or other)
- 284 ml canned Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 cup low sodium beef broth
- 2 3/4 cups dry macaroni
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, peppers and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened.
- Stir in ground beef (cooked or raw), taco seasoning and salt. If you have some Big Batch Beef prepped, you can just cook and stir 1 minute. If you are starting with raw ground beef, cook and stir until browned.
- Add milk, tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in dry macaroni.
- Cover and cook, stirring often, until pasta is cooked through — about 10 minutes.
- Stir in cheese (you can add a splash of broth or milk if you need to make the sauce come together) and let melt, reserving 1 cup to sprinkle over top if desired. Serve.
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