Mexican pasta casserole is one our favorite family recipes that combines pasta with a hint of spicy Mexican flavors. It’s a winner with the children as well as adults, and makes a great dish for casual entertaining.
I love sharing old recipes that I’ve been making ‘forever’, especially since it means I get to eat it after photographing it! Today I’m sharing my Mexican Pasta Casserole that I first tried 20 years ago at a girl friend’s dinner party. It was so good I knew I had to get the recipe from her, and I’ve been making it ever since – with a few tweaks to make it “mine.”
I would say this is a great dish to entertain with because it makes a LOT, and it combines 2 of our favorite flavors – Mexican and Italian. Who doesn’t love that?! This is a terrific dish to make during the holidays when you have out of town guests too. For more ideas, check out my baked spaghetti recipe or this easy cheeseburger bake recipe.
This recipe makes a delicious casserole for entertaining
The story behind this dish is that it was served by one of my oldest girl friends, when we were all young and single (or dating). It was one of the first dinner parties we went to as “grown ups” and I’ll never forget it. I love that food and entertaining can create a memory like that!
When she served it, she stuffed large pasta shells with the meat mixture so it was a little bit “fancy.” I like making it with penne pasta as there’s much less work involved. The end result either way, is a fantastic blend of Southwestern flavor with the comfort of a pasta dish. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as we do!
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 can (16 oz) Tomato Sauce
- 1 jar (15 oz) Picante Sauce
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Large can French’s Fried Onions
- 16 oz box Penne Pasta – cooked al dente
- Brown the ground beef and combine it with the tomato sauce, picante sauce, and 1/2 cup of water.
- Add pasta, 3/4 of the onions, and 3/4 of the cheese; mix well.
- Pour into a large baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and top with remaining cheese and onions and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes or until melting & browning occurs.
- Serve with a salad and enjoy!