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one blue ceramic bowl filled with instant pot taco pasta and a silver spoon

Instant Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta

Ground beef is seasoned with taco seasoning and salsa, cooked with pasta shells and mixed with cheese for a tasty weeknight pasta dish.
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 833kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (454g) lean ground beef
  • 1 onion peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup (260g) salsa
  • 1 cup (225g) tomato sauce
  • 2 ¾ cups (650ml) low-sodium chicken or beef stock
  • 12 ounces (350g) shell pasta
  • 1 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 bell pepper deseeded and diced
  • 2 cups (83g) shredded cheese use a mixture of Mexican and cheddar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) half and half


  • Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and add the oil, then add in the ground beef and brown for about 5 minutes making sure to break up the beef.
  • Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in the garlic, taco seasoning, salsa, tomato sauce and stock and mix, making sure to deglaze the insert well by scraping with a wooden spoon.
  • Then add the pasta, making sure it is fully submerged.
  • Cover and seal the Instant Pot, set to pressure cook / manual pressure on high for 4 minutes.
  • When done, perform a full quickly pressure release, open the lid, add in the peppers, half and half, and cheese.
  • Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, allowing peppers to soften and cheese to melt. Then open the lid, stir, and serve.


  • Instead of stirring, use a spoon to press all of the pasta under the liquid. 
  • If the pasta looks watery when you open the Instant Pot, stir everything and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. The pasta will absorb any remaining liquid as it stands. 
  • If you prefer your peppers to “disappear” into the sauce, add them before pressure cooking. They turn mushy so if you want more crunch, add them at the end as directed. 
  • Cooking times do not account for the time that it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure or for the pressure to release.
  • Store - leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Cover tightly.


Calories: 833kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1343mg | Potassium: 1294mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2217IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 496mg | Iron: 6mg