This flavorful pasta is loaded with protein and deliciousness! Rich in nutrients and less than 20 minutes to prepare, it’s an excellent go-to quick meal!
I’ll be to be honest, this dinner was a surprise win! As I was preparing meals ahead of time for a trip out of town, I was in need of one more dish my family could have for dinner. I scoured the pantry and fridge for what I already had on hand, and boom, this dish was the end result.
In the freezer, I had 1 pound of cooked ground beef that was extra from last week. I knew it could be used as a base to an Italian dish or a soup. I moseyed over into the pantry where the first thing I saw was a can of beans and taco seasoning. The rest quickly fell into place from there.
Here are 5 reasons I know you’re going to LOVE this soup:
- It takes less than 20 minutes to make it from start to finish.
- You can make it from items you can keep stocked in your kitchen.
- It’s made in 1 pot, so easy clean-up!
- The whole meal costs less than $20 (*where I live).
- It’s low in calories and loaded with protein and fiber!
This soup is definitely worth trying. You can switch up the protein for rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or ground turkey or chicken. You can also get creative with the spices and types of beans you choose. Bonus, it heats up super well as leftover for lunch! It might just end up in your weekly rotation too.
What You’ll Need
- Canned Beans
- Taco Seasoning
- Frozen Fajita Veggies
- Chickpea Pasta Shells
- Optional: A Cooked Protein and Toppings
Tools You’ll Need
How to Make This Recipe
- Combine the beans, Rotel, broth, taco seasoning, fajita veggies and pasta in a medium skillet or pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Once the pasta is cooked through, if desired, fold in a cooked protein. Ladle and garnish with your favorite toppings.
Tips and Substitutions
- You can substitute any pasta for the chickpea pasta. Regular, edamame, gluten-free and other vegetable-based pastas can work. Here’s a quick nutrient comparison of regular shell pasta versus chickpea pasta:
- 2oz Regular Shells: 200 calories, 1g fat, 42g carbs, 3g fiber, 7g protein
- 2oz Chickpea Shells: 190 calories, 3g fat, 35g carbs, 5g fiber, 11g protein
- If the pasta you choose soaks up more liquid than desired OR if you’d like more of a soup-like texture or thinner consistency, add more broth at the end.
- If you’d like to opt for a meat-free version, simply omit the ground beef and use vegetable broth.
- As noted previously, the cooked ground beef can be substituted with cooked ground turkey or chicken, rotisserie chicken or drained and flaked canned chicken
- I used a reduced-sodium taco seasoning, but a regular or homemade blend works just as well. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- I had a can of pinto and a can of charro beans in my pantry, so I decided on the charro beans. These are just pinto beans stewed with onion, garlic, seasonings and bacon. Pinto, black or cannellini, any variety you’d like will work.
- This pasta is delicious by itself, but some excellent toppers include (not limited to):
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheese
- Cotija Crumbles
- Tortilla Strips
- Diced Avocado
- Avocado Crema
- Fresh Corn Salsa
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
- Store in an air-tight container in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.
More Recipes Like This
- Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Soup
- Quick and Easy Chicken Soup
- Soup Beans
- Loaded Vegetable Soup
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
Protein Packed Taco Pasta
- 15.5 oz beans charro, black, pinto, cannellini
- 10 oz Mexican Style Lime and Cilantro Rotel or regular Rotel
- 2 cups broth beef, chicken or vegetable
- 1 oz taco seasoning regular or low-sodium
- 12 oz frozen fajita vegetable blend
- 8 oz chickpea pasta shells
- 1 lb cooked ground beef
- Optional Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend, tortilla chips, cilantro, lime, avocado
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, combine beans, Rotel, broth, taco seasoning, fajita veggies and pasta. Bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Once the pasta is cooked, If desired, fold in a cooked protein. Serve with desired toppings.
This is so good! Fast, easy, and tasty too!
YAY!!! I'm so happy you made it and it was such a hit!! THANK YOU for sharing this too!