Taco Pie

I admittedly have a lot of “favorites” when it comes to food, but one constant favorite of mine is Mexican food. I could eat at our local Mexican restaurant every night for dinner and I’d be delighted to have Taco Bell for lunch each day. Yes, yes I did just admit to loving Taco Bell on a food blog. I kinda have a thing for drive thru food. Don’t hate.

Anyway, my love of Mexican food is deep and never-ending. I once told my husband that I wanted a divorce so that I could instead find an old Mexican grandma to marry. It would have been a match made in heaven.  However, I also have a love of pasta. It’s so carby and delicious. You can dress it up any way you like and one of my favorite ways to dress it up is with my other favorite…tacos.

And, okay, I probably shouldn’t call this Mexican food, but it’s my American version of Mexican food and man, is it ever tasty.

My daughter who routinely declares that she hates Mexican food, doesn’t want tacos, won’t eat that quesadilla, and WHERE IS MY CHEESEBURGER, MOTHER? ate this for lunch today. It’s all about presentation and this one is quite impressive.

You need a bit of extra time to prepare this as the pasta doesn’t just stand up in the pan all by itself, but it was much simpler than I anticipated. Smooshing the meat down into the tubes of pasta was pretty simple as well and the sound it made as it was sucked in was quite entertaining.

If, however, you are a normal person with a busy life who does not have the time to stand a pound of rigatoni noodles at attention, then just go ahead and toss this all together in a baking dish (9×13 would be good) and then cover with cheese and bake it that way. It’ll still taste good…it just won’t be as entertaining.

Y’all are gonna love this.

Taco Pie

  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or your own recipe)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the pasta until not quite al dente. I let mine boil for 2 minutes less than the package suggested for al dente. When the pasta is done, drain and rinse. Toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of monterey jack cheese.

While the pasta is boiling, brown the ground beef and drain. Add the taco seasoning and however much water is needed, per the directions on the taco packet. Cook for a few minutes over low heat and then add in the cream cheese. Allow the cream cheese to fully melt into the meat mixture. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of salsa.

Grease a springform pan and stand the rigatoni noodles up tightly in the pan. It may help to hold the pan at an angle to get them to stand when you’re first standing them up. This step really is easier than you would think!

Spread the meat mixture on top of the noodles and use a straw to poke the meat down into the holes of the noodles. When you’ve poked the meat in as much as you can, pour the remaining half cup of salsa over the top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan and cutting. Enjoy!

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26 Responses to “Taco Pie”

  1. DessertForTwo August 4, 2010 @ 12:23 pm (#
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    How fun! It’s almost like mini Canneloni, Mexican style!

    Does it creep you out that I comment a mere 4 minutes after you post? I hope not. I’m bored at work and always have my Google Reader open :)

    [Reply]

  2. Cheri August 4, 2010 @ 12:41 pm (#
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    Oh, I’m on your side. I loooove mexican food. Especially when I’m pregnant, then I could eat it all the time. This looks so good. I’m gonna have to give it a try. Love the presentation as well.

    [Reply]

  3. Steph@PlainChicken August 4, 2010 @ 1:13 pm (#
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    Looks great! I will add this to my menu for our next Mexican night.

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  4. Cody August 4, 2010 @ 1:26 pm (#
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    Oh my, that looks delicious.

    I could eat Mexican for every meal… my husband is that way with pasta. This would go over well.

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  5. Michelle August 4, 2010 @ 1:53 pm (#
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    I love that you made all the pasta stand up straight. That just looks cool. My son would love taco pasta. Tacos are one of his favorite things.

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  6. Ashley August 4, 2010 @ 5:38 pm (#
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    Love this idea with all the pasta standing up!

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  7. Joanne August 4, 2010 @ 6:50 pm (#
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    Mexican food is one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t think I’d feel guilty eating this, though. Just very very happy.

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  8. avril miller August 4, 2010 @ 7:01 pm (#
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    I can NOT wait to make this Taco Pie – it looks sooooo yummy!!! :-)

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  9. Chef Dennis August 4, 2010 @ 7:04 pm (#
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    what a great way to make a taco pie! I have never seen it with rigatoni, it looks delicious!!

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  10. Cindy August 4, 2010 @ 7:12 pm (#
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    I adore this! Cannot wait to make this! it has everything i love. meat, pasta and cheese. what more do you want??!

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  11. Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} August 4, 2010 @ 10:31 pm (#
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    This looks so nice, Karly! LOVE it.

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  12. grace August 6, 2010 @ 1:43 am (#
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    oh man. i don’t know if i could handle this–it looks like some tedious work.

    after giving it some serious thought, i’ve decided that the resulting meal would be worth the time and effort–bravo, karly. :)

    [Reply]

  13. 9ballmike August 6, 2010 @ 6:38 pm (#
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    yum…looks like im having this for dinner tonight :)

    [Reply]

  14. Tia @ ButtercreamBarbie August 8, 2010 @ 11:05 pm (#
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    holy moly that looks time consuming! lol. I’d lose my patience with the standing up of the tubes for sure, lol

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  15. Tawny @theyearofthecookie August 9, 2010 @ 10:05 pm (#
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    This dish looks great! Mexican and Italian tie for my favorites!

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  16. Heide m. August 11, 2010 @ 9:24 pm (#
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    I’ll have to try this. This recipe is very inventive.

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  17. Kiyomi August 17, 2010 @ 5:40 pm (#
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    Karly, thank you so much for this recipe. Not only was it super-easy, but REALLY delicious. Hard not to gobble up all at once. Nom nom nom!! :)

    [Reply]

  18. Jamie August 27, 2010 @ 5:19 pm (#
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    )

    Okay, so I made this last night for dinner. I did not have a springform pan, so I used an 8×8 pyrex dish and still made it stand up. That was easy–getting the meat into the pasta, not so easy! I didn’t use quite as much cheese (too lazy to grate!), but it was still UNBELIEVABLE!! I had a huge 1/4 corner for dinner last night, gave my husband to take to dinner for work tonight, then ate 1/4 for lunch…and the rest for dinner. In essence, I ate 3/4 lb of pasta, 3/4 lb of meat, 3 oz of cream cheese and at LEAST one cup of cheese in LESS THAN 24 HOURS. I blame you, Karly!!!

    In other words, YUM.

    [Reply]

  19. Michelle @ Taste As You Go September 1, 2010 @ 1:38 pm (#
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    This sounds fantastic! I need to buy a springform pan so I can try this recipe out!

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  20. Heather @ The Single Dish September 24, 2010 @ 9:45 am (#
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    Love the presentation! I make a creamy taco pasta and it such a hit! I will have to try this out.

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  21. Taylor September 24, 2010 @ 7:10 pm (#
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    I never knew taco pie could be so fun! This looks super tasty!

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  22. Nicola September 29, 2010 @ 11:38 pm (#
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    I just made this for our dinner tomorrow, it is now in the fridge and ready to pop in the oven tomorrow when we all get home! If anyone is slightly hesitating on making this dish because it looks time consuming it is not!!!! A lot faster to make than you would think and smells soooo good! I absolutely love the pasta presentation…I know it is going to be a hit!!!! Thank you for your genius idea!!!!

    [Reply]

  23. Kim December 28, 2013 @ 5:20 pm (#
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    So yummy!! I did change mine up a bit because of having like barely a sprinkle of cheese left and no salsa but we served it over chopped lettuce with tomatoes and sour cream and crushed nacho cheese Doritos! So good! :-)

    [Reply]

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