Cheesy Mexican Pasta

Cheesy Mexican Pasta

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Share this Recipe!

Cheesy Mexican Pasta is a mix between my recipes for Easy Macaroni and Cheese and Goulash. I find myself craving it all year round and enjoy it most warmed up for lunch. Our youngest grandson likes it, too!

Some may call this Mexican Mac and Cheese or Cheesy Goulash. Made from lean ground burger, Cavatappi pasta, tomatoes, and processed cheese, it’s easy to put together, and a great meal for weeknight dinners.

The First Time I Made this Dish

The first time I made it, I had just come in from mowing our rather large yard in the summer, and I was tired and hot. All I wanted was a bowl of cheesy pasta, but I wanted something more substantial than mac and cheese. So I gathered some ingredients and threw it together. And I loved it. But you know what? I failed to write anything down, and so it’s taken me over a year to reproduce what I made that night! Lesson learned. Write things down!

I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as I do!

 

Ingredients for Cheesy Mexican Pasta

(See the complete recipe and instructions at the bottom of this post.)

  • lean ground burger (80/20)
  • sweet onion, chopped
  • green bell pepper, chopped
  • chili powder
  • ground cumin
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion salt
  • whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • cavatappi pasta
  • water
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • processed cheese (like Velveeta)

 

Instructions for this Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a Chef’s knife and cutting board, chop the sweet onion and green bell pepper.

Crush the Whole Tomatoes

Place the whole tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them by hand into small pieces.

In testing out this recipe, I tried using petite diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes in a can. I ended up preferring to crush whole tomatoes by hand, which allowed for just the right amount of sauce and small chunks of tomatoes. 

Slice the processed cheese into small cubes.

If you want to use Velveeta for this dish, go ahead. I usually buy a generic brand, and it works fine. 

 

Cook the Ground Meat and Vegetables

In a large skillet or cast iron braiser, brown the ground burger on medium low heat. Once browned, add in the chopped onion and green bell pepper. Saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

When I make a casserole-type dish on the stove I like to use my Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Casserole or Braiser. It’s big enough to hold meat and pasta without being too full, plus it has a lid for braising or steaming the food. 

Add Spices to the Cooked Ground Beef

Mix in the chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion salt. Cook for another 2 minutes so that everything is well seasoned.

 

Add the Pasta

Add the Cavatappi Pasta to the Dish

Add the crushed tomatoes to the burger along with the cavatappi. Pour in the water, beginning with 1 1/2 cups and adding the rest as needed. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the cavatappi is tender, stirring often.

Add the Cheese Chunks when Pasta is Tender

Remove from heat and add chunks of processed cheese to the dish. Stir to combine. Cover once more with the lid and allow the cheese to melt. After 7-10 minutes, stir in the melted cheese, mixing well to combine.

Serve Mexican Pasta with Mixed Vegetables

Serve warm with a salad or mixed vegetables. This recipe will serve 4.

See more Main Dishes Here. Browse Pasta Dishes Here. See more Mexican Dinner Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Cheesy Mexican Pasta

Cheesy Mexican Pasta

This recipe is a mix between Easy Macaroni and Cheese and Goulash. Made from lean ground burger, Cavatappi pasta, tomatoes, and processed cheese, it’s easy to put together, and a great meal for weeknight dinners.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Cavatappi Pasta, Cheesy Goulash, Ground Beef, Processed Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Cutting Board
Glass Measuring Cups
Spurtle Set
Dutch Oven 3 qt

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground burger 80/20
  • 1 cup sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 15 oz whole tomatoes hand crushed
  • 2 3/4 cups cavatappi pasta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz processed cheese (like Velveeta) cut into small chunks

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a Chef's knife and cutting board, chop the sweet onion and green bell pepper.
  • Place the whole tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them by hand into small pieces.
  • Slice the processed cheese into small cubes.

Cook the Meat and Vegetables

  • In a large skillet or cast iron braiser, brown the ground burger on medium low heat. Once browned, add in the chopped onion and green bell pepper. Saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Mix in the chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion salt. Cook for another 2 minutes so that everything is well seasoned.

Add the Pasta

  • Add the crushed tomatoes to the cooked ground beef, along with the cavatappi. Pour in the water, beginning with 1 1/2 cups and adding the rest as needed. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, and then reduce to low. Cover and allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the cavatappi is tender, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and add chunks of processed cheese to the dish. Stir to combine. Cover once more with the lid and allow the cheese to melt. After 7-10 minutes, stir in the melted cheese, mixing well to combine.
  • Serves 4.

Nutrition

Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1925mg | Potassium: 930mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1759IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 645mg | Iron: 5mg
Like This Recipe?Share on Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram - Please mention @countryatheartrecipes or tag #countryatheartrecipes

 

Share this Recipe!



2 thoughts on “Cheesy Mexican Pasta”

  • 5 stars
    I love hearty pasta recipes like this one and cooking the pasta in the sauce actually makes it tastier! I think leftovers would be great baked so I’m going to make enough for 2 meals!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating