healthy taco pasta

One of my favorite things to do when I’m coming up with new recipe ideas is combine a few of my favorite things into one. Take this One-Pot Healthy Taco Pasta, for example. I love tacos (you know this), I love pasta (who doesn’t), and I really love when healthy foods are easy to make, which is why this optionally vegan pasta-taco crossover has become one of my new favorite weeknight dishes.

It utilizes one of my favorite hacks to pack veggies into dishes: swapping half of ground beef for an equal amount of riced cauliflower. It works in any recipe and you truly won’t be able to taste the difference! You can also do all riced cauliflower if you’re vegan—you’ll be shocked at how good the texture is.⁣

healthy taco pasta

Cauliflower rice versus ground beef

I know what you’re thinking: How can cauliflower rice ever be used in place of ground beef?! First of all, if you’re not vegan or vegetarian and do want to use ground beef, just swap in some cauliflower rice for half the ground beef. I do this in this recipe (it’s sooo good, and you get extra veg!), but I’m also a big fan of doing this whenever you want to get more vegetables into a meal (or you have cauliflower rice that’s about to go bad and need to eat it up first).

Oh, and if you do have cauliflower rice that’s about to go bad—just toss it in the freezer, and it will be good to use for six months! You can use it to make my One-Pot Healthy Taco Pasta, or plenty of other ways, like:

  • When you’re making rice, use half regular white or brown rice and half cauliflower rice. You won’t know it’s there, and you’ll get an extra veggie boost.
  • A lot of my smoothie recipes call for cauliflower (it makes them super creamy, and no, you can’t taste it). Using cooked cauliflower rice (cook it, then let it cool!) is a super convenient way to add cauli’ to smoothies. That’s especially if you don’t have a high-powered blender because it’s easier to blend smooth.

Get more of my tips on what to do with cauliflower rice:

Why I love this Healthy Taco Pasta

Besides the cauli swap, this one-pot meal means it’s perfect for my deep-seated aversion to cleaning. It’s also takes less than 30 minutes to make (another reason I love it for weeknights). And the toppings offer you options to showcase your individuality (if you have kids or childlike roommates, I recommend putting out taco toppings—cheese, sour cream, cilantro, red onion, avocado—on the table and letting them top their own!) Trust me when I say healthy taco pasta night is the new pizza night!

Watch it being made!

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A post shared by Liz Moody (@lizmoody)

Enjoy, and tag me if you make it on Instagram (@lizmoody)—I can’t wait to see!

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One-Pot Healthy Taco Pasta

  • Author: Liz Moody


  • Avocado oil, for cooking
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef (omit for vegan option) ⁣
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice (make by pulsing one medium cauliflower in a food processor, or just use fresh or frozen pre-riced—double this for vegan option)⁣
  • 14 ounces tomato paste (2 small cans)⁣
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder⁣
  • 1 teaspoon cumin⁣
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika⁣
  • 2 cups unsweetened milk of choice⁣
  • 3 cups veggie stock 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ⁣
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano ⁣
  • 3/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste, use more for spicier!)⁣
  • 16 ounces pasta of choice ⁣
  • Fine grain sea salt
  • Taco toppings of choice ⁣


  1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pot on medium high. Add beef & cauliflower rice & cook until brown, about 7 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break beef up.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and paprika & cook for 2 more minutes, until paste darkens in color and spices are fragrant.
  3. Add milk, broth, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and red chili flakes, and bring to boil. Taste & add more salt if necessary, then reduce heat to simmer and add pasta.
  4. Stir every few minutes, scraping bottom of pan and re-submerging pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Top with desired toppings!! Serves 4.

Keywords: healthy taco pasta