Easy Overnight Taco Pasta Recipe

Overnight Taco Pasta is a creative and convenient twist on traditional pasta dishes, blending the bold flavors of tacos with the comfort of a pasta bake. This make-ahead meal is perfect for busy weeknights, potlucks, or any time you need a satisfying dish that’s ready to go with minimal preparation. By assembling the ingredients the night before and letting them meld together in the refrigerator, you’ll enhance the flavors and make mealtime a breeze. Whether you’re feeding a family or looking for an easy meal prep solution, Overnight Taco Pasta is sure to become a favorite.




Why You’ll Love Overnight Taco Pasta

  • Flavorful: The combination of taco seasoning, cheese, and your favorite taco toppings creates a deliciously unique pasta dish.
  • Convenient: Prep the night before and simply bake the next day for an effortless meal.
  • Customizable: Easily adapt the recipe to include your favorite taco fillings or to accommodate dietary restrictions.
  • Family-Friendly: A hit with both kids and adults, making it a great option for family dinners.

Ingredients Notes

  • Pasta: Use a shape that holds onto the sauce well, such as rotini, penne, or shells.
  • Ground Meat: Beef, turkey, or chicken work well. Cook and season with taco seasoning for that classic taco flavor.
  • Taco Seasoning: Use a store-bought mix or make your own blend with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika.
  • Cheese: A mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese provides creaminess and a slight tang.
  • Beans: Black or pinto beans add fiber and texture to the dish.
  • Toppings: Customize with toppings like olives, green onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers for added flavor and crunch.
  • Sauce: A combination of salsa and tomato sauce creates a rich and tangy base.

Recipe Steps

  1. Cook Pasta: Boil the pasta until just al dente, as it will continue to soften when baked. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Brown the Meat: Cook the ground meat in a skillet, breaking it into small pieces. Drain excess fat, then stir in taco seasoning and water as directed on the seasoning packet. Simmer until thickened.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, seasoned meat, beans, half of the cheese, salsa, and tomato sauce. Mix well.
  4. Assemble: Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and any desired toppings that can be baked (like olives or green peppers).
  5. Refrigerate: Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Bake: Preheat the oven and bake the pasta, covered, until heated through. Remove the cover during the last few minutes to brown the cheese.
  7. Serve: Garnish with fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro before serving.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Warm portions in the microwave or in the oven until heated through.




Easy Overnight Taco Pasta Recipe

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Author: Maria


  • Pasta: 8 oz about 225g, uncooked (penne, rotini, or shells work well)
  • Ground beef: 1 lb about 450g
  • Onion: 1 medium diced
  • Garlic: 2 cloves minced
  • Taco seasoning: 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade
  • Tomato sauce: 1 can 15 oz
  • Diced tomatoes with green chilies: 1 can 10 oz, undrained
  • Black beans: 1 can 15 oz, drained and rinsed
  • Corn: 1 cup frozen, canned, or fresh
  • Chicken broth or water: 1/2 cup for cooking pasta
  • Cheddar cheese: 1 cup shredded
  • Monterey Jack cheese: 1 cup shredded
  • Toppings: Sour cream diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced olives, green onions (optional)


Cook the Pasta:

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside. Remember, the pasta will absorb more sauce overnight and during the final baking, so it’s better to undercook it slightly.

Brown the Ground Beef:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and diced onion until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft. Drain any excess fat. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Add Taco Flavors:

  • Stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with green chilies, black beans, and corn. Mix well and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Combine with Pasta:

  • Add the cooked pasta to the beef mixture along with the chicken broth or water. Stir until everything is well combined.

Layer in a Baking Dish:

  • Spread half of the pasta mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Repeat with the remaining pasta mixture and cheeses.

Refrigerate Overnight:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. This step allows the pasta to soak up the flavors.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the covering and bake the pasta for about 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with Toppings:

  • Serve the taco pasta hot, garnished with your choice of toppings like sour cream, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced olives, or green onions.

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