Taco Tortellini Is The Perfect Marriage Of Mexican And Italian Cuisines

If you're looking for a flavorful meal that can feed the whole family, your search doesn't need to extend farther than the taco tortellini. Both Mexican and Italian cooking styles are on display in this cheesy, hearty dish. 

If its name wasn't obvious, taco tortellini is a variant of the Italian classic tortellini. The main twist here is that the tortellini incorporates the spices and flavors you might find in a ground beef taco. Taco tortellini features many of the common elements found in both tacos and regular tortellini and remixes them. However, taco tortellini is more than the sum of its parts, ending up as a pasta dish that's slightly on the spicy side. 

The dish is both customizable but also ready to serve in its original form. Given that you can cook a large quantity of taco tortellini at once, the dish is popular among large families and could be great for parties, as well — turn your traditional Taco Tuesday fiesta into a taco tortellini party! While the dish can be cooked on the stove, it can also be fixed in an Instant Pot for your convenience.

Ingredients needed for a taco tortellini

Fortunately, the ingredient list for taco tortellini should be familiar. The dish shares some ingredients between its two parent dishes, just like any offspring would. You'll need ground beef, which will lend a hearty and savory flavor to the dish. You'll probably want to go with lean beef for the dish as fatty ground beef may add too much oil to your pasta. However, what really sets taco tortellini apart from regular tortellini is taco seasoning, which is available in any major supermarket. 

Like many Italian and Mexican dishes, taco tortellini also calls for diced tomatoes. However, if you want more of a sauce then consider adding in tomato sauce or tomato paste. Alternatively, you can dice your own tomatoes rather than going with a prepackaged can. If you want to give your tortellini a sweeter taste, consider going with a smaller grape or cherry tomato. 

Finally, you will have to have tortellini shells (for obvious reasons). Depending on your grocery store, you can get either fresh shells or a frozen bag. Both work for the recipe so it really is up to your own personal preference. Finally, a Mexican blend of cheese helps bring the dish together. 

History of taco tortellini

While taco tortellini appears to be an American mashup, tortellini itself traces back to Italy, specifically the Emilia-Romagna region. Traditionally, it's been served both in a broth as well as with meat and a meat sauce, making for a fairly easy recipe to make. Meanwhile, tacos date back to at least the 19th century, likely originating from meals made by silver miners in Mexico. 

Their mix-mash remains a mystery. We're not exactly sure who created the first taco tortellini, but there is room to speculate. Tex Mex, or American-style Mexican food, started becoming popular towards the end of the 1800s but really took off during the 1900s. It's possible that taco tortellini may have formed from America's melting pot of cultures. In particular, pasta dishes became more popular than ever for American families, thanks in part to the rise of Hamburger Helper in the 1970s.

However, what needs no speculation is that Italian food and Mexican food seem to blend well together due to a similar approach to cooking. Both Mexican and Italian cuisine pride themselves on flavor and spices. Additionally, both cultures value the slow-cooked method, which really brings out the natural flavors, as well. With that in mind, taco tortellini seems like a no-brainer.