Cheesy Baked Mexican Pasta

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Mexican Pasta? Sure, why not? I love Mexican food and Italian food always makes me happy. Combining them makes for a fun twist on some old favorites and turned into a great new recipe the kids really liked.

Mexican Skillet Meal

My favorite thing about this pasta the first time I made it was that it somehow managed to please all my kids with their opposing tastes. It made me laugh when my anti-spice pasta lover adored this meal and my anti-pasta spice lover adored it as well.

Apparently, it was just enough of a balance to please everyone. When you find a recipe like that, you hold on to it! Am I right?

Mexican Pasta

This pasta is a little bit Italian, a little bit Mexican and a whole lot delicious. Cheese, meat, veggies, and spices come together in an easy, enjoyable and fuss-free dinner.

I made this baked pasta with cellentani noodles this time but you could easily substitute whatever variety of pasta you have on hand like penne or bow tie noodles.

Peppers, onions, and garlic cooked together until slightly soft and fragrant get added to taco meat before being mixed with cooked pasta, covered in cheese and baked in the oven until bubbly.

Mexican Pasta Bake

If you use an oven safe pan with a lid to brown the meat and cook the veggies, this is one pan meal that requires little prep or cleanup effort. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and be reheated for lunch the next day.

Taco Seasoning

Mexican pasta is one of the many recipes where I like to put my Homemade Taco Seasoning to use. You can certainly use your store bought seasoning as well but it’s well worth it to try making your own.

Just a couple of minutes of adding ingredients together results in a perfect spice blend ready to add to fajitas, tacos, chili and anywhere else you’d use Mexican seasoning.

Southwest Pasta Skillet

I like to quadruple the taco seasoning recipe when I make it so that I always have plenty on hand in the spice cabinet.

If you’re wondering where else you might use the Homemade Taco Seasoning, here are a few of our family’s favorites:

Mexican Pasta Toppings

After pulling this hot pasta bake from the oven, I served it topped with cilantro and sliced green onions. It would also be delicious with a little finely diced red onion, tomato or parsley as a garnish. The parsley is a great alternative for those who are cilantro avoidant.

You’re also welcome to serve it just as is and it will still be plenty delicious.

Pasta Recipes

Pasta is a go-to weeknight meal for a good reason. It’s simple, economical, versatile and delicious. If you’re stuck in a pasta rut, making the same recipes, again and again, it might be time to shake things up.

Southwest Pasta Skillet

Mexican Pasta is a fantastic way to do just that and still make everyone in the family happy. Mushroom Florentine Pasta and this Creamy Mushroom Pasta are two more pasta dishes I love making and eating that differ from the standard noodles and red sauce.

Now that I know I love the combo of Mexican and Italian-inspired dishes, I may just try more variations on the concept, like this Mexican Pizza from Saving Dessert.

Baked Pasta

Baked pasta is a beautiful combination of pasta dish and casserole. I love how baking this Mexican pasta gives it a crust of hot melty cheese on the top. 

Another baked pasta recipe I’m looking forward to trying is this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake I found over at  Inside Bru Crew. It seems like a fantastic way to get a quick dinner on the table with minimal ingredients!

Southwest Pasta Skillet

Mexican Pasta Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until barely softened. Transfer the cooked peppers and onions to a plate.
  2. Return the skillet to the stove and add the ground beef. Season generously with taco seasoning while cooking and crumbling the meat. When the meat has browned, add the peppers and onions back to the skillet. Add the green chile, enchilada sauce or salsa, black beans, and pasta to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cover generously with cheese and place skillet in the hot oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions before serving.

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Southwest Pasta Skillet

Baked Mexican Pasta

5 from 5 votes
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Recipes to Run On
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb cellentani noodles, or your favorite pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 miniature bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted green chile, or (1) 4 ounce can
  • 2 cups salsa or green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8-16 ounce shredded Pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped small
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until barely softened. Transfer the cooked peppers and onions to a plate.
  • Return the skillet to the stove and add the ground beef. Season generously with taco seasoning while cooking and crumbling the meat. When the meat has browned, add the peppers and onions back to the skillet. Add the green chile, enchilada sauce or salsa, black beans, and pasta to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover generously with cheese and place skillet in the hot oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions before serving. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 531kcal · Carbohydrates: 36g · Protein: 29g · Fat: 30g · Saturated Fat: 13g · Cholesterol: 87mg · Sodium: 996mg · Potassium: 340mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 840IU · Vitamin C: 6.2mg · Calcium: 311mg · Iron: 2.9mg
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{originally published 11/9/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/20/19}

Cheesy Baked Mexican Pasta

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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