You’ll love this cheesy Taco Tortellini Skillet recipe – an easy dinner that combines the best of tacos and tortellini in one dish.
Loaded with ground beef and tossed in a tomato taco sauce, this is the answer to your busy weeknight dinner dilemmas. The best part? It only requires 6 ingredients!
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- Ground Beef
- Taco seasoning (you can use store bought or homemade)
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Cheese tortellini pasta
- Tex Mex cheese
- Lime Juice
- Garnishes used: parsley
Toppings and Garnish Ideas
- Diced avocados
- Black olives
- Jalapenos (we love pickled jalapenos)
- Sour cream
- Black beans
- Queso Fresco
Ingredient Substitutions and Recipe Variations
Lean ground beef: You can use ground chicken or turkey to lighten up the dish.
Fire roasted tomatoes: If you can’t find fire roasted diced tomatoes, you may use regular diced tomatoes in its place. The difference between fire roasted tomatoes and diced tomatoes is that the fire-roasted variety has a sweet and smokey flavor. They’re delicious in southwestern or tex mex meals.
Cheese tortellini: Feel free to use a beef tortellini if you would rather. We prefer the cheese variety as it has a creamy texture added to the bite.
Tex Mex cheese: Grab what you can, whether it’s labeled as a Mexican cheese or a cheddar variety. Use what you have on hand. Tip: We don’t recommend pre-shredded cheese. It doesn’t melt as nice, but you gotta do what you gotta do when you’re in a time crunch.
Add cream: You can make this a creamy dish by adding a splash of cream when you add the tortellini, stir it before you add the shredded cheese.
Other vegetables to add: Green peppers, onions, celery, zucchini, and sweet potatoes are all tasty additions.
How to Make it Vegetarian
It’s easy to make this ground beef and tortellini dinner vegetarian, all you have to do is simply leave out the ground beef. The meal will still have cheese, so it’s not vegan
If you want to go the vegan route with this recipe, we recommend going with the brands of plant based cheese that you know and love as it can be hit or miss. Same with a “cheese” tortellini.
Although this Mexican tortellini is a whole meal in itself, it’s always nice to have sides to stretch the meal (and maybe sneak in a few extra vegetables).
Salad: A simple green salad with a zesty vinaigrette can help balance the richness of the tortellini and add a refreshing pop of color to the meal.
Veggie tray: You can never go wrong with some fresh vegetables and dip on the side of any meal.
Garlic bread: There’s nothing better than some garlic toast to go with a saucy pasta.
Serving suggestions: For added crunch and freshness, consider serving some sliced avocado or a dollop of sour cream on top of the skillet. Another fun idea would be to top it with diced red pepper for color and crushed tortilla chips for a little crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
More Quick Weeknight Meal Ideas
There are so many easy recipes here on Busy Day Dinners, but here are a few of our favorite fast recipes for busy nights:
- Quick Pumpkin Alfredo
- Big Mac Wraps
- King Hawaiian Rolls Crack Chicken Sliders
- Mexican Meatballs
- School Night Dinner Ideas
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Taco Tortellini Skillet Recipe with Ground Beef
- Start by bringing a generous amount of water with added salt to a boiling point in a pot. Then, proceed to cook the pasta as per the instructions provided on the package.
- Heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the ground beef and scramble fry it. Once the beef is fully cooked, mix in the taco seasoning and the whole cans of fire roasted tomatoes (juice and all) and allow it to simmer.
- Afterward, add the drained tortellini, shredded cheese, and a dash of lime juice to the skillet. Cover it until to melt the cheese.
- Finally, serve the dish with a garnish of fresh parsley and enjoy!
Feel free to use the tortellini you prefer – cheese-filled, spinach-filled, or even meat-filled tortellini. Can I substitute ground beef with another protein?
Ground turkey, chicken, or even plant-based crumbles work well as substitutes. Can I freeze leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Toppings:
Cilantro, parsley, tomatoes or peppers, sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, and a squeeze of lime are all fantastic toppings for this taco tortellini skillet. How spicy is this dish?
The spice level can be adjusted based on personal preference. Use a mild or spicy taco seasoning. How long does it take to boil tortellini?
When in doubt, it’s best to follow the package instructions but typically fresh tortellini is fast and will be ready in 3-5 minutes. Frozen tortellini will take 7-10 minutes.