Taco Mac and Cheese

Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
4 servings

Upgrade your taco night with a mac and cheese infusion! This exciting mashup combines two classic weeknight staples into one cheesy menu item that my family can’t get enough of. Using the Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Dinner Kit, I can bring this meal together in a flash. The taco shells make the perfect crunchy base for the mac and cheese, and the seasoning kit adds that extra Tex-Mex kick we all crave. I love adding the chopped green chilis for a subtle hint of spice that adds the just the right amount of zing. Try it tonight!



box Old El Paso™ Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Dinner Kit
cup (150g) uncooked elbow macaroni
lb (225g) ground beef
cup finely diced white onion
garlic cloves, minced
Tbsp Old El Paso™ Taco Seasoning from Old El Paso™ Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Dinner Kit
Tbsp butter
Tbsp flour
cup (420ml) milk of choice, plus up to ¼ cup (60ml) more as needed for desired consistency
red bell pepper, finely diced (can substitute with diced tomatoes if preferred)
Tbsp Old El Paso™ Chopped Green Chilis, more to taste
1 ½
cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 150g)
1 ½
cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 100g)
High heat oil, for cooking
Kosher salt, to taste
Old El Paso™ Mild Taco Sauce, from Old El Paso™ Stand ‘n Stuff Taco Dinner Kit, to serve
Chopped scallions, to serve
Habanero hot sauce, to serve


old el paso mac and cheese tacos ingredients
Step 1

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot for cooking pasta. As soon as the water is at a boil, season well with kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon or amount needed for water to taste briny like seawater). Undercook pasta for 2 minutes less than al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 325F for heating taco shells. Pull taco shells apart and arrange on a baking sheet. Set aside. About 5 minutes before serving mac and cheese, place taco shells into a preheated oven to warm and crisp up.

old el paso toasted taco shells with cheese
Step 3

Mix shredded cheeses in a large bowl, reserving about ½ cup for garnishing tacos. Set aside.

Step 4

Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, drizzle in some oil and diced white onion. Add a pinch of salt and sauté until softened and turning translucent, then add minced garlic. Stir 20 seconds until fragrant, then add ground meat and Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, along with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Lower heat to medium.

old el paso ground beef taco seasoning
Step 5

Push the meat mixture out to the side to make room in the middle of the pot. Add butter to melt, then flour. Stir continuously for 2 minutes to cook rawness out of the flour. Slowly stir in milk. Bring to a simmer (not boiling) and cook another 2-3 minutes until thickened, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any extras with your wooden spoon. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Step 6

Add most of the red pepper, holding back about ⅓  cup for garnish. Add Old El Paso Chopped Green Chilis and the cooked macaroni. If more milk is desired to loosen the sauce, add it now. Heat everything through and bring back to a simmer, stirring often.

Step 7

Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Add shredded cheese (excluding the reserved amount for garnish) and stir until fully melted. Do a final taste and season with salt as needed. Increase heat again just to bring to a brief simmer and get everything hot and bubbly, but not too long that the pasta gets soggy. Remove from heat.

old el paso mac and cheese in the skillet with ground beef
Step 8

Divide mac and cheese among the 10 warm taco shells from the Old El Paso Stand n’ Stuff Taco Dinner Kit (or if you prefer to fill each as they’re eaten to keep shells crisp, scoop a heaped ½ cup of filling per shell). Let the mac and cheese set briefly if it is runny.

old el paso taco mac and cheese finished product
Step 9

Garnish with reserved shredded cheese, fresh diced bell pepper, scallions and green chili. Enjoy immediately with Old El Paso Mild Taco Sauce, habanero or your favourite hot sauce.


Don’t feel like cooking mac & cheese from scratch? Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese is the perfect quick and easy substitute!

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