Taco Mac

Taco Mac is a tasty and budget-friendly dish that combines the comfort of macaroni and cheese with the flavors of tacos.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for making it:


  • 2 boxes of Velveeta shells and cheese
  • 1 pound of taco meat
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)


1. Cook the Pasta:

  • Prepare the Velveeta shells and cheese according to the instructions on the box. This usually involves boiling the pasta and preparing the cheese sauce.

2. Brown the Taco Meat:

  • While the pasta is cooking, brown the pound of ground beef or ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. Break it up into crumbles as it cooks.

3. Season the Meat:

  • Add the packet of taco seasoning to the browned meat and follow the seasoning mix instructions on the packet. Typically, you’ll add a specific amount of water and let it simmer until the mixture thickens.

4. Combine Pasta and Meat:

  • Once the pasta is cooked and drained, combine it with the seasoned taco meat. Mix the pasta and meat together until they are well combined.

5. Add Rotel:

  • Open the can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies) and add it to the pasta and meat mixture. Mix it in to add a bit of tang and some spice to the dish.

6. Serve:

  • Once everything is well combined, serve your Taco Mac while it’s still hot.

Optional Toppings:

  • You can further customize your Taco Mac by adding optional toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, diced avocado, or sliced black olives. These toppings can add extra flavors and textures to your dish.

Taco Mac is a simple and satisfying meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re craving the flavors of tacos in a comforting pasta dish. Enjoy your delicious and budget-friendly meal!

Here are some more tips and ideas to enhance your Taco Mac:

1. Vegetarian Version:

  • You can make a vegetarian version by using meatless ground “beef” or crumbled tofu seasoned with taco spices. This makes it suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets.

2. Add Beans:

  • Consider adding a can of drained and rinsed black beans or kidney beans to the dish for extra protein and fiber.

3. Custom Seasoning:

  • Experiment with your own taco seasoning mix. You can control the level of spice and flavor by making it from scratch using ingredients like chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

4. Salsa:

  • Serve your Taco Mac with a dollop of your favorite salsa for added flavor and freshness.

5. Creamy Topping:

  • Top your Taco Mac with a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or a drizzle of ranch dressing for a creamy finish.

6. Cheesy Finish:

  • For extra cheesiness, you can sprinkle shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese on top before serving and melt it under the broiler for a few minutes.

7. Tortilla Chips:

  • Crumble tortilla chips on top for a crunchy texture that mimics the experience of eating tacos.

8. Fresh Ingredients:

  • Add fresh ingredients like diced tomatoes, diced red onions, sliced jalapeños, or chopped cilantro for a burst of freshness.

9. Pickled Jalapeños:

  • If you like some heat, add a few slices of pickled jalapeños to give your Taco Mac a spicy kick.

10. Kid-Friendly Variation:

  • Make a milder version for kids by using less taco seasoning or choosing a mild taco seasoning mix.

11. Serve in Taco Bowls:

  • Instead of serving Taco Mac on a plate or in a bowl, try serving it in edible taco bowls for a fun twist.

12. Meal Prep:

  • Taco Mac can be prepared in advance and divided into portions for meal prep. Reheat it as needed for quick and easy lunches or dinners.

13. Garnish with Cilantro:

  • A sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro adds a bright and herbal note to the dish.

These ideas and variations should give you plenty of options to customize your Taco Mac to your taste, whether you want to make it spicier, milder, or add extra toppings for texture and flavor.

here are some more tips and ideas for your Taco Mac:

14. Guacamole or Avocado:

  • Add a generous scoop of guacamole or slices of fresh avocado on top of your Taco Mac. The creamy and rich avocado complements the flavors nicely.

15. Corn Kernels:

  • Add some sweet corn kernels to the dish for a pop of sweetness and a pleasant contrast to the savory and spicy elements.

16. Green Chilies:

  • For an extra kick of spice and flavor, consider adding diced green chilies to the mix.

17. Lime Wedges:

  • Serve Taco Mac with lime wedges for a zesty squeeze of citrus that brightens up the dish.

18. Make it Creamier:

  • If you want your Taco Mac even creamier, you can stir in a bit of heavy cream or half-and-half after mixing in the Rotel.

19. Baked Version:

  • Turn Taco Mac into a baked casserole by transferring the mixture to a baking dish, topping it with extra cheese, and baking until it’s bubbly and golden.

20. Sausage Substitute:

  • Instead of ground beef, use ground sausage for a different flavor profile.

21. Whole Wheat Pasta:

  • If you’re looking for a slightly healthier version, use whole wheat pasta for added fiber.

22. Add Veggies:

  • Sneak in extra veggies like finely chopped bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.

23. Customize Spice Level:

  • Adjust the spice level to your preference by using mild, medium, or hot taco seasoning.

24. Leftovers Wrap:

  • Transform your leftovers into a delicious wrap. Spoon the Taco Mac onto a tortilla, add some fresh greens, and wrap it up for a quick lunch.

25. Taco Salad:

  • Use the Taco Mac as a base for a taco salad. Serve it over a bed of fresh lettuce and add your favorite salad toppings.

26. Diced Pickles:

  • A surprising but delicious addition is diced dill pickles. They provide a tangy and crunchy contrast to the creamy mac.

Feel free to combine any of these suggestions to create your own unique and mouthwatering version of Taco Mac. Enjoy your meal!

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