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Mexican Pasta Bake

26 Apr

Casseroles are an ever-popular dinner choice for busy people, not to mention great for bringing to new mommies and new neighbors.  It wasn’t until I moved to the midwest that I realized how prominent a role The Casserole enjoys around here.  I now have many favorites, ranging from breakfast bakes and brunch bakes to dinner bakes.

Here’s a sassy twist on casseroles.  We’re kickin’ it up with a Mexican Pasta Bake.

Mexican Pasta 2

This is such a fun change of scenery in the realm of pasta bakes!  My family loves taco nights, when we have a tempting spread of various goodies to fill our tacos with.  This Mexican pasta bake is almost like a taco in casserole form.  All the lively spices are seamlessly paired with pasta and baked to aromatic perfection!

Mexican Pasta

So, I totally realize we’re not talking authentic Mexican fare at this moment.  Hubby and I spent most of our lives in LA, and this really wouldn’t be found on any Mexican menu 😉  But this yummy dish is SUCH a super tasty way to change up your usual pasta bake routine!

Mexican Pasta 3

Ground beef or turkey, taco seasoning, salsa, and cheese…you just can’t go wrong.  I made mine with whole grain penne, but feel free to use any pasta you like.  Rotini, Corkscrew, or Mafalda… have fun with it.  Enjoy!

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RECIPE for Mexican Pasta Bake (8 servings)

INGREDIENTS

2 TB olive oil
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 (1.25 oz) envelope taco seasoning
1 jar (about 15-20 oz) mild chunky salsa
1 small chopped and seeded green pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
12 oz uncooked pasta of choice
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/2 cup light sour cream
chopped cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta in well-salted water to al dente only.  Drain (don’t rinse) and set aside.

In large heavy skillet, brown ground meat over medium heat.  Drain if needed.  Stir in taco seasoning, salsa, green pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.  Bring to boil, stirring. Immediately remove from heat.

Meanwhile, combine cooked pasta with 1 cup of the cheese and sour cream and mix well.  Spoon into a greased 2-qt baking dish.  Top with the meat mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered 350F for 30 minutes.  Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from taste of home

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6 Responses to “Mexican Pasta Bake”

  1. thehungrylinguists April 26, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    Love the idea of this recipe! Pasta and Mexican are yummy so together they must be amazing! Emily

  2. Lori April 26, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Sounds quick and easy! Have you tried freezing it?

    • chewoutloud April 26, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      I haven’t tried freezing it. If I had to make ahead, I’d probably just freeze the meat sauce only. Not the pasta, because pasta takes on a weird texture after being frozen. You could make the meat sauce ahead and freeze it, and then just put together with fresh pasta when ready! 🙂

  3. A Wiener Dog in the Kitchen April 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Looks really delicious!! I’ll bet it would make a great, quick, weeknight meal… Bookmarking this one to try very soon!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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