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Our newest version of macaroni and cheese adds the flavor of tacos and does it all in one pan. That’s one-pot taco mac and cheese!

You won’t believe the secret ingredient that turns regular mac and cheese into this taco-flavored favorite…salsa.

What you need to make taco mac & cheese

  • pasta
  • taco filling (ground beef, ground chicken or turkey, veggie crumbles, mushrooms, etc.)
  • onion
  • salsa (we use mild)
  • cheddar cheese
  • chicken stock

That’s it! This magical combination of ingredients produces the tastiest meal we’ve had all week. The one my kids can’t wait to eat again for lunch.


One-Pot Taco Mac & Cheese

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  • Author: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of foodlets.com



  • 1 pound ground beef, chicken, turkey or veggie crumbles (I use half ground beef, half chopped mushrooms)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound pasta, any shape
  • 16 ounce jar of salsa (any kind, any spice level your family likes)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro as a garnish, optional



  1. In a large stock pot or extra-large skillet, saute ground beef (or whatever you’re using) plus the diced onion until browned.
  2. Add pasta, salsa and chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer with a lid partially on.
  3. Cook for about 12 minutes, until the pasta has soaked up most of the liquid.
  4. Turn off the heat. Add cheese and stir while it melts.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with cilantro if using.

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What goes well with One-Pot Taco Mac & Cheese?

Any bagged salad is perfect with a dish like this one! Or, one of our favorite salads here:

  • Creamy Cucumber Salad
  • Kale Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing
  • Cheery Cherry Tomato Salad with Basil

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