Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese – Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that’s a family FAVORITE!!

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese - Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that's a family FAVORITE!!

My daughter adores mac and cheese. And she adores Mexican food and tacos. This was the most perfect food marriage ever for her.

The mac and cheese is easy, ready in 30 minutes, super creamy, ultra cheesy, and is flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro for a taco and Mexican-inspired twist on classic mac and cheese.

It makes a ridiculously big batch. One pound of pasta, one pound of cheese, 4 cups of milk, a can of beans, yep that’s a lot of food but you can freeze leftovers in single-serve portions and can pull them out and re-heat at a moment’s notice. I love planned leftovers. Or make these Macaroni and Cheese Baked Cheese Balls with your leftovers or just halve the recipe.

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese - Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that's a family FAVORITE!!

MY OTHER RECIPES

I used extra sharp cheddar because it has the most flavor bang for the buck compared to regular cheddar and bonus, there’s no processed cheese in a block or powdered cheese in sight here.

You must grate your cheddar rather than buying it pre-grated because cheese in bags is resistant to melting and you’ll end up with a mess.

Three of the four cups (about 12 of the 16 ounces) of cheese are stirred into the macaroni and the final cup is sprinkled on top and then I popped the skillet under the broiler for 2 minutes.

You can skip broiling if you want and just stir all 4 cups of cheese into the macaroni mixture but I love the texture and flavor of baked or broiled cheese.

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese - Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that's a family FAVORITE!!

I used unsweetened cashewmilk and it’s so irresistibly creamy and thick. You can use regular milk if that’s what you prefer but use 2% or whole and not skim because it’s too thin.

I used small shells but you can use medium shells, small elbow, rotini, bowtie, or your favorite.

This is comfort food on a platter despite it being vegetarian. It’s the perfect recipe to make on hectic weeknights when you’re craving something warm and hearty.

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese - Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that's a family FAVORITE!!

Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese – Super creamy, ultra cheesy, flavored with taco seasoning, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, and cilantro!! EASY comfort food with a Mexican flair that’s a family FAVORITE!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small-sized pasta shells, cooked according to package directions (medium shells, small elbow, rotini, bowtie, etc. may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • scant 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups unsweetened cashewmilk (or the milk of your choice but something thicker like 2% or whole is recommended, do not use skim)
  • one 1-ounce packet taco seasoning (I used medium heat, reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pound (16 ounces or about 4 cups) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (grate your own because pre-grated cheese in bags doesn’t melt well); divided
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, with 2 tablespoons reserved for garnishing
  • 1 medium Roma tomato, diced small
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set pasta aside.
  2. Preheat broiler to high.
  3. To a very large oven-safe skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  4. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown and has bubbled for about 2 minutes. Cook long enough to cook off the raw flour taste, but not so long it gets overly browned; you’re making a roux.
  5. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, making sure to smooth out any possible clumps that formed.
  6. Add the taco seasoning, pepper, and whisk until smooth.
  7. Add 3 cups cheese (about 12 ounces) and whisk until melted and smooth.
  8. Add the pasta, black beans, green onions, and stir to combine and evenly coat.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese over the top and place skillet under the broiler until the top layer of cheese has melted and is bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes. If desired, allow cheese to brown slightly, or to taste. Keep a very careful eye on your skillet and the cheese because broilers can burn things in a matter of seconds.
  10. Evenly sprinkle with the tomatoes, reserved 2 tablespoons green onions, cilantro, and serve immediately. Recipe is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4 months. Reheat very gently prior to serving leftovers so cheese doesn’t separate.

Adapted from Easy 30-Minute Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Only Eats

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11 comments on “Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. This looks like some serious winter comfort food and is a nice twist on mac and cheese. I think I’d go with your suggestion to put this under the broiler–a golden cheese crust over the top is irresistible!

  2. My daughter would love this! We are being buried in snow so I’ve been making lots of comfort food. Mmm-mmm.

  3. This looks amazing! I think I will brown some hamburger and add to it so a complete meal

  4. Can half and half b e used in place of cashew or soy milk instead?

    • Yes – I wrote this in the recipe: (or the milk of your choice but something thicker like 2% or whole is recommended, do not use skim)

      I actually think 4 cups of half and half would be too rich for me and I would opt for something lighter or a mixture of maybe whole milk and half and half.

  5. hey girl- this looks amazing!

  6. I love the contrast of the rich, cream mac and cheese and the fresh, vibrant toppings. Well done!

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