Overnight Taco Pasta

Meta Description: Dive into the deliciousness of Overnight Taco Pasta, a simple yet savory casserole packed with taco-seasoned beef, creamy sauce, and gooey cheese. Perfect for hectic weeknights or potlucks!

Are you craving a hearty and hassle-free meal that’s bursting with flavor? Look no further than Overnight Taco Pasta! This make-ahead dish combines the zesty goodness of tacos with the comforting appeal of pasta, creating a crowd-pleasing casserole that’s easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy.


  • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef
  • 1 packet (1 oz) taco seasoning
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) unsalted cream of chicken soup
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese, shredded or diced
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1. Brown the Beef: In a skillet, cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain excess fat. Add taco seasoning and water. Cook until well coated and water is absorbed.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a saucepan, combine cream of chicken soup, milk, chicken broth, diced tomatoes and green chiles, and Velveeta cheese. Stir until smooth.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix taco meat and sauce. Stir in uncooked pasta until evenly coated.
  4. Assemble and Chill: Pour pasta mixture into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Bake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Top casserole with shredded Mexican cheese blend. Bake uncovered for 1 hour until cheese is bubbly and pasta is cooked.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Serve hot and savor the deliciousness!

Prep Tip: Prep this dish the night before for a stress-free meal the next day.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve hot: Overnight Taco Pasta tastes best when served fresh out of the oven, with the cheese melted and bubbly.
  2. Garnish creatively: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or sliced jalapenos on top for added flavor and visual appeal.
  3. Pair with sides: Serve alongside a crisp green salad, garlic bread, or tortilla chips for a complete and satisfying meal.
  4. Customize toppings: Offer a variety of toppings such as sour cream, salsa, or diced tomatoes for guests to personalize their plates.
  5. Serve as leftovers: Enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day by reheating individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate promptly: Once cooled, cover the leftover Overnight Taco Pasta tightly with foil or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking.
  2. Store properly: Store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days to maintain freshness and flavor.
  3. Reheat with care: Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  4. Freeze for later: For longer storage, portion the cooled leftovers into freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  5. Thaw before reheating: Thaw frozen Overnight Taco Pasta in the refrigerator overnight before reheating to ensure even heating and prevent the pasta from becoming mushy.
  6. Use caution with dairy: Keep in mind that the texture of the sour cream and cheese may change slightly after freezing and reheating, but the flavor will still be delicious.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy the deliciousness of Overnight Taco Pasta for days to come, whether freshly baked or reheated from leftovers.


  1. Vegetarian Version: Substitute the ground beef with black beans or lentils for a meatless option. Increase the amount of diced tomatoes and green chiles for added flavor and texture.
  2. Chicken Taco Pasta: Swap the ground beef for cooked shredded chicken breast or rotisserie chicken. Season the chicken with taco seasoning before mixing it with the sauce and pasta.
  3. Spicy Kick: Add diced jalapenos or green chiles to the sauce mixture for extra heat. You can also sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes on top before baking for a spicy kick.
  4. Cheesy Delight: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or Colby jack, for a variation in flavor. You can also add extra cheese between the layers for an even cheesier dish.
  5. Tex-Mex Twist: Incorporate Tex-Mex ingredients like black olives, corn kernels, or diced bell peppers into the pasta mixture for a Southwestern flair. Top with sliced green onions and fresh cilantro before serving.
  6. Creamy Avocado: Mash ripe avocados and mix them into the sauce for a creamy texture and vibrant color. Garnish with avocado slices and a squeeze of lime juice before serving.
  7. Taco Salad Bake: Transform the Overnight Taco Pasta into a taco salad bake by layering the pasta mixture over a bed of shredded lettuce. Top with diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, and crushed tortilla chips before baking.
  8. Greek Yogurt Swap: Substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream in the sauce mixture for a healthier alternative. Greek yogurt adds creaminess and tanginess without sacrificing flavor.
  9. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta instead of traditional elbow macaroni to make the dish gluten-free. Ensure all other ingredients, including the taco seasoning, are also gluten-free.
  10. Veggie Loaded: Add extra vegetables like diced zucchini, spinach, or mushrooms to boost the nutritional value of the dish. Sauté the vegetables with the onions and garlic before mixing them into the sauce.

These variations offer creative ways to customize Overnight Taco Pasta to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to create your own unique twist on this delicious dish!


  1. Can I prepare Overnight Taco Pasta ahead of time?
    • Yes, that’s the beauty of this recipe! You can assemble the dish the night before, refrigerate it overnight, and bake it the next day for a hassle-free meal.
  2. Can I use different types of pasta?
    • Absolutely! While elbow macaroni works well in this recipe, you can experiment with other pasta shapes like penne, rotini, or farfalle for variety.
  3. Can I make Overnight Taco Pasta without Velveeta cheese?
    • Yes, you can substitute Velveeta cheese with shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or any melting cheese of your choice. Adjust the quantity according to your preference.
  4. Is this dish spicy?
    • The level of spiciness depends on the taco seasoning and diced tomatoes with green chiles. You can customize the heat by using mild or spicy versions of these ingredients.
  5. Can I freeze Overnight Taco Pasta?
    • While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. What can I serve with Overnight Taco Pasta?
    • This dish is a complete meal on its own, but you can pair it with a side salad, garlic bread, or tortilla chips for added texture and flavor.
  7. Can I make Overnight Taco Pasta gluten-free?
    • Yes, simply use gluten-free pasta and ensure that all other ingredients, including the taco seasoning and soup, are certified gluten-free.
  8. How long does it take to bake?
    • After refrigerating overnight, the dish bakes in the oven for approximately 1 hour at 350ºF (175ºC) or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Can I adjust the portion size?
    • Yes, you can scale the recipe up or down depending on your needs. Keep the ingredient ratios consistent for best results.
  10. How should I store leftovers?
    • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through.

Overnight Taco Pasta is the ultimate solution for busy days when you need a satisfying meal with minimal effort. With its irresistible combination of flavors and simple preparation, this dish is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. Whether you’re feeding your family or entertaining guests, Overnight Taco Pasta is guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters. Try it today and prepare to be amazed by its deliciousness!