Instant Pot Tex Mex Pasta with Ground Beef

A bowl full of creamy Tex Mex pasta topped with crushed tortilla chips.

This Instant Pot Tex Mex Pasta with Ground Beef meal can be on your table in just a few minutes using a skillet or your Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker).

Your family will love how creamy and cheesy this pasta casserole turns out.  Feel free to use any ground meat you prefer in place of the ground beef, if desired.

Tex Mex Penne Pasta with Ground Beef Recipe 

Enjoy a big bowl of hearty Tex Mex Pasta cooked in just 5 minutes.Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

I am crazy for Instant Pot meals.  I’ve been cooking with my electric pressure cookers for about 7 years now and once I got the hang of it (there IS definitely a bit of a learning curve, that’s for sure), I went gang busters.

I like to be able to make quick Instant Pot meals for my family and there are many recipes that can be made (start-to-finish) in right around 30 minutes…..so very helpful when we are feeding a hungry, busy family.

Recently, we’ve become big fans of Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn with Parmesan, Instant Pot Lazy Butt Beef Subs…With Caramelized Onions, and Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs.

What to Love About This Creamy Instant Pot Pasta –

  1. This pasta meal only takes 5 minutes of cook time….30 minutes total from start to finish.
  2. It calls for ingredients that you’ll probably have right in your pantry.
  3. This recipe is super family friendly – a cheesy, creamy, and hearty ground beef dinner.

Which Common Ingredients Do You Need to Make This Pasta Meal? 

  • Ground beef (or any ground meat that you prefer)
  • Ground paprika and ground chili powder
  • Onion and garlic powder, optional
  • Red bell pepper, optional
  • Penne pasta (may use any shape of pasta)
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Broth
  • Tomato sauce
  • Diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Shredded cheese, optional
  • Cilantro, optional
  • Tortilla chips, optional

How to Make Instant Pot Tex Mex Ground Beef Pasta Casserole in 5 Easy Steps 

  1. Brown the ground beef with the spices and the red bell pepper using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot; drain any fats that accumulate, then spread the cooked ground beef mixture out evenly.
  2. Spread the dry pasta over the ground beef layer; add both cans of soup. Pour the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and green chilies, and the broth over the top of everything in the Instant Pot.  DO NOT STIR!!!
  3. Cook the ingredients in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes under full pressure; use a quick release to quickly remove all the pressure from the Instant Pot.
  4. Carefully unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid; give the contents a gentle stir to combine well.
  5. Serve the pasta topped with cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips and Commonly Asked Questions About This Recipe 

Can I use any shape of pasta in this recipe if I don’t have penne pasta on hand? 

  • You sure can.  I especially like the mini penne pasta in this recipe, but it’s kind of hard to find at the grocer in my area of Kansas. Sometimes I substitute small shell pasta since it seems to hold lots of sauce inside each one as it cooks in the Instant Pot.

Why does the recipe specifically and loudly state NOT TO STIR the ingredients once they are in the Instant Pot to cook? This seems odd. 

  • Resist the urge to stir the ingredients that you add to the Instant Pot before pressurizing to cook the pasta meal.Every Instant Pot (and every other electric pressure cooker in the world) needs liquid inside the pot to easily circulate around the ingredients inside so that steam can build and the pressure can be created.If you stir all the ingredients together before pressurizing, you will stir the liquids (from the diced tomatoes and green chilies and the broth) into all the other ingredients, exactly where they cannot be optimized to circulate to create steam and pressure.

    Be sure you don’t stir! Resist the urge!!!

Which other types of ground meat can be substituted for ground beef in this recipe?

My freezer is often loaded with ground venison since my sons enjoy hunting. I like to combine ground venison with either ground beef or ground pork for many of my favorite recipes that call for ground beef…..such as Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet, Beef Patty Melt Sliders with Secret Sauce, and Lazy Lasagna Noodles

Or, if your family enjoys ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground bison, feel free to use those meats in this recipe in this place of the ground beef.

Can I use the low-fat versions of the cream of chicken soup and the cream of mushroom soup in this recipe? 

  • You sure can, just know that the pasta won’t be QUITE as creamy.

Which tools are helpful when making this Tex Mex Creamy Pasta Dish?

  • I adore my 6-quart Instant Pot (and also my 6-quart Cuisinart electric pressure cooker, too) for making all types of speedy dinner recipes.
  • You will also find silicone spoonulas handy for stirring this pasta after it has cooked. I have several of these in my kitchen so I can grab one whenever I need to give something a good stir. I like how the silicone gets right up to the edge of the bowl or skillet when I’m cooking.
  • If you are going to make this pasta on your stove top instead of in the Instant Pot, you may really enjoy using a cast iron skillet.  Because cast iron is heavy-duty, it’s cooks very evenly and holds the heat really well….AND it’s inexpensive and lasts a lifetime. My favorite cast iron skillet is a 12-inch.

A big serving of creamy Tex Mex Pasta in a bowl.

Looking for Help in Using Your Instant Pot and More Instant Pot Recipes? I’ve got you covered. 🙂

More Favorite Main Dish Recipes to Enjoy – 

Printable Instant Pot Tex Mex Penne Pasta with Ground Beef Recipe 

A bowl brimming with penne pasta in a cream sauce and topped with crushed tortilla chips.

Tex Mex Penne Pasta with Ground Beef

This Instant Pot Tex Mex Pasta with Ground Beef meal can be on your table in just a few minutes using a skillet or your Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker). Your family will love how creamy and cheesy this pasta casserole turns out.  Feel free to use ground beef or any ground meat you prefer. 
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Time Needed for Instant Pot to Pressurize:: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 545kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. each smoked paprika and chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder or granulated onion, optional
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic, optional
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, optional seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • 1/2 lb. penne or mini penne pasta, may substitute any shape of pasta desired
  • 10 1/2 oz. can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
  • 10 1/2 oz. can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies undrained
  • 1 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
  • 16 oz. shredded colby-jack or monterey jack cheese, I love to use Alma Creamery Cheese, a great KS product optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, optional

Instructions

To Cook This Pasta in the Instant Pot

  • Using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker), cook and crumble the ground beef with the spices and bell pepper (if using) until fully cooked throughout; drain any beef fats that accumulate.
  • Next, layer the penne pasta on top of the ground beef in the Instant Pot; top with both cans of soup; pour the tomato sauce, broth, and tomatoes and green chilies over all the ingredients already in the Instant Pot. DO NOT STIR!
  • Lock the Instant Pot lid into place; choose the High Pressure setting for 5 minutes, bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure. When the timer sounds, perform a Quick Release to remove all pressure from Instant Pot.
    Carefully unlock and remove the Instant Pot lid; give the contents a gentle stir to combine. To serve, top each pasta serving with cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips. (We also like to add sour cream as a topping, too, but this is completely optional - use your favorite toppings.)

To Cook This Pasta in a Skillet

  • Cook the penne pasta according to package directions; reserve.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef with the spices and bell pepper (if using) until fully cooked throughout; drain any fats that accumulate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium; add the soups, tomato sauce, broth, tomatoes and green chilies, and cooked pasta to skillet with the ground beef, stirring to combine and cooking until the pasta is nicely hot throughout.
    To serve, top each bowl of pasta with cheese, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips....and any other favorite toppings, you desire. (We like sour cream!)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: ground beef casserole, mexican, Pasta casserole, Tex Mex

Nutrition

Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1205mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1322IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 486mg | Iron: 4mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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