This Healthy Taco Pasta is packed with flavor and nutrition! With a combination of ground turkey, black beans, corn, taco seasoning, and creamy pumpkin, we’ve got a wholesome healthy 30 minute meal perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Table of contents
What you get is a flavorful and satisfying pasta dish full of fresh healthy ingredients bringing together the best of both worlds!
Pumpkin, which you can hardly taste, is the secret to a creamy texture in many healthy pasta dishes without having to add much cheese.
It also provides a ton of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, and when paired with taco seasoning tastes amazing!
For this healthy taco pasta recipe, I use whole wheat pasta which has more nutrients than plain white pasta. But you can also use brown rice, quinoa, chickpea pasta or any gluten free pasta!
I add turkey for lean protein along with plant based protein like black beans and some good fat from the avocado.
The key to healthy one pot meals is having bold flavors come from simple, fresh, and healthy ingredients.
- Onion and garlic: Aromatics that get sautéed first to produce the base flavors of the entire dish.
- Taco seasoning: I have a great homemade taco seasoning I like to use.
- Ground turkey: Lean meat provides extra sustenance but you can leave it out and add more beans instead for a vegetarian version.
- Black beans: Drained and rinsed from a can, unless you have some Instant Pot black beans you need to use up! Beans add fiber and plant-based protein.
- Corn: It’s a staple in Mexican dishes, so we’re adding it to our healthy taco pasta.
- Diced tomatoes: Gives this dish some acidity to cut the creamy textures.
- Pumpkin purée: Not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling! Pure pumpkin puree, is literally
- that. Puréed pumpkin. If you’re not a fan, replace it with tomato sauce instead.
- Uncooked pasta: Use whole wheat pasta or gluten free pasta. If you’re using leftover cooked pasta, add it in at the end to warm through.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Freshly grated from a block so that it melts nicely and you avoid the anti clumping agents that come in pre shredded packages.
- Avocado: A creamy, healthy fat added at the end to retain its texture!
- Green onion: Garnish and a pop of color.
How to Make Healthy Taco Pasta
Whipped up in 30 minutes, this one-pot healthy taco pasta dish couldn’t be easier. It’s a deliciously cozy and satisfying!
Grab a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven to use. It needs to be large enough to hold everything. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Any higher and the garlic will burn.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, while stirring occasionally.
From there, you’ll add in the taco seasoning and ground turkey. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the turkey as it cooks. It’s also a great way to see which pieces are still pink.
Toss in the beans, corn, diced tomatoes, pumpkin purée, water, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring it to a boil.
Add the uncooked pasta and make sure it’s submerged in all the liquid. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the avocado, and stir.
Sprinkle with cheese and green onions and replace the lid so that the cheese melts for a few minutes. Serve while it’s hot and enjoy!
If you like the look of a rustic table setting, serve it family style and bring the pan right to the table.
Taco Pasta Toppings
This isn’t your traditional pasta, so you can definitely get creative with the toppings!
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapenos for heat
How to Customize
- Vegan: Omit the turkey and cheese and ramp up the amount of beans. You can leave out the cheese and enjoy the creaminess of the pumpkin or you can use your favorite vegan cheese instead.
- Vegetarian: Skip the meat but keep the cheese if you’d like! Add more beans, but also increase the amount of veggies to bulk it up.
- Other ground meat: Use lean ground beef, Italian sausage, or ground chicken.
- Additional veggies: Toss in some bell peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms, and zucchini.
You can prepare many of the components of this dish ahead of time. Brown the turkey, dice the veggies, grate the cheese and drain and rinse your beans. Things like that!
It will make everything much easier when you’re ready to cook.
It’s a filling meal, so a simple side salad, grilled veggies, or a slice of crusty bread is all that is needed to feed your hungry crew.
- Refrigerator: Keep leftover healthy taco pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy the next day and the day after that for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
- Freeze: Transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months. If you still have lots, portion it out so that way you only need to thaw what you’re going to use.
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
Or you can browse through my favorite healthy pasta recipes for more inspiration!
Healthy Taco Pasta
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 15 oz can black beans rinsed & drained
- 2 cups corn frozen
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 14 oz can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups whole wheat pasta or gluten free pasta uncooked
- 1 cup 4 oz sharp hard cheese shredded
- 3 avocados diced
- 1/2 cup green onions chopped
- Preheat large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add oil, onion and garlic, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add taco seasoning and ground turkey. Sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking turkey into pieces with spatula.
- Add beans, corn, diced tomatoes, pumpkin puree, water, salt and pepper; stir and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta, cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, add avocado and stir; sprinkle with cheese and green onions, cover for a few minutes to let cheese melt. Serve hot.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Vegetarian: Substitute with another can of beans for vegetarian version.
- Pumpkin: Substitute with a can of tomato sauce if not a fan of pumpkin.