May
14
2012

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

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Dinner

I think you are going to love this new dinner recipe I developed last week!  It’s full of simple everyday pantry items we usually have and full of great Mexican flavors.

I made a homemade queso sauce that you will be tempted to break the tortilla chips out and dive right in….that actually gets mixed in with the pasta and beef making a casserole the whole family is going to love!

Can’t wait to hear how you like this one, it went over great in our family.  Enjoy!

Let’s start by making the queso.  Melt your butter then whisk in your flour, salt and peppa!

Whisk for about 30 seconds then slowly add the chicken broth.  You’ll increase the heat, whisking until nice and thick.  Takes close to 5 minutes.

Time for some beautiful cheese.

Give it a nice stir, should melt within a minute.

Nice and cheesy.

Add 1/2 cup of your favorite mild salsa and voila’ you’ve got queso.  Set this baby aside.

Dice an onion and get it sauteeing in the pan.  Add some garlic too.

Brown your ground beef.

Add a lovely can of mild Rotel tomatoes.

Add some cumin and lime juice for a yummy taco meat.

How cute are these pasta noodles?!  Found them at World Market, however use any small pasta you like.

Once your noodles are cooked, add them to a big pot with the beef.

Beauty shot :)

Time to add that delicious queso sauce.

Give her a good stir, taste, then season a tad bit more if needed.

Transfer to your nice big baking dish.

Top with more shredded cheese please.

I added a little mozzarella too, but use what you like.

This is what comes out of the oven.  Pure gorgeousness :)

Queso Taco Pasta Bake

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup prepared mild salsa

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 tablespoons minced garlic

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, mild

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3/4 pound small pasta of your choice

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to melt. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds until bubbly. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until smooth. Increase heat to high while whisking until thickened. Takes 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheese and salsa, turn off heat and set aside.

3. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add ground beef, salt and pepper, cooking until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Add tomatoes, cumin and lime juice, stir to combine.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and run under cold water.

5. Transfer beef, noodles and queso to a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings




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97 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1

    All that cheese! Yum! And I love World Market…great finds there on just about anything!

  2. 2

    I’ll be making this one this week! Sounds YUMMY!!!

  3. 3

    This looks great! Perfect weeknight meal :)
    Also, love the new design..I tweaked mine too this weekend. SO fun!

  4. 4

    Salt and Peppa. I TOTALLY got that.

    This looks so cheesy and full of yum. Going on my dinner list!!

  5. 5

    Mmmm! I am totally digging the pasta right now. Carbs, carbs, carbs! :D Oh, pregnancy…how I love you. :D This looks amazing. And thank goodness for World Market. I don’t know what I would do without their awesome pastas.

  6. 6

    This pasta looks amazing. You had me at homemade queso! I cannot wait to give it a try very soon. As luck would have it, I am working on my menu plan today. :)

  7. 7
    Lauren says:

    This sounds so delish!!

  8. 8

    Yum, Yum, Yum! This is going on my must-make list for sure!

  9. 9
    Molly Carter says:

    I need this now, Jenny! Looks perfect for a weeknight meal.

  10. 10

    Mmmm…loving the Mexi twist on pasta! This looks amazing!

  11. 11

    All our favorite Mexican flavors in one gorgeous casserole. Yum!

  12. 12

    WHAT? This is a culmination of ALL of my wet dreams, EVAR. I just died.

  13. 13
    Jennifer says:

    This look soooo good!

  14. 14

    Love these one-pot meals, Jenny! My kids love Mexican flavors AND pasta, so I’ll be trying this out. Thanks!

  15. 15

    PS> Love the new look over here!! *whistles*

  16. 16

    Fantastic Jenny! It’s like a fiesta fresh out of the oven. :)

  17. 17

    This pasta bake looks so delicious, Jenny! Great flavors you used! Thanks for reminding me about World Market’s great pasta selection, too. Though I don’t need any more excuses to go there more than I do already…

  18. 18
    Candice says:

    Can’t wait to make this! But looking at the print directions, it looks like you left out putting the cheese into the queso at the end of step two.

  19. 19
    Jennifer says:

    I have been looking for a quick and easy queso recipe and the one you made here looks like it could be the one! Have you tried just this queso with tortilla chips? Was it flavorful enough to stand alone?

  20. 20

    looks so so delicious eventhough I don’t eat beef. Love Mex food!

    • 20.1
      Gwen M says:

      I think you could easily make it with shredded chicken or shredded pork!

      • Ashley says:

        I plan on making this with ground turkey….I think that would be another option if you don’t like beef. The chicken or pork sound great as well!

  21. 21
    Tracy says:

    Ohh this looks delicious! Printing this out so I can make this for my hubby & I. We love anything with a taco flavouring to it.

  22. 22
    Maria says:

    Great weeknight meal!

  23. 23
    Stephanie says:

    What cute pasta! I think even picky kids would love this! Thanks!

  24. 24
    Becks says:

    Yum!! This reminds me of your bestie’s Cheeseburger Mac, which is already in my bi-weekly rotation! http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/cheeseburger-macaroni.html

    I might have to change it up this week. :)

  25. 25

    Jenny, this recipe looks great. What a perfect quick weekday dinner idea. And all that cheese— LOVE IT!

  26. 26

    Yumm! Looks so easy and delicious!

  27. 27
    Lynna H. says:

    looks incredible!!!

  28. 28
    Molly says:

    So do we use 1 1/2 c. Cheese in the sauce and then 2 c. cheese on top? Is that why there are two cheese entries in the ingredients? Thanks!

  29. 29

    I think I just found Wednesday night’s dinner. And I think I have everything on hand which is always a bonus!

  30. 30
    RecipeNewZ says:

    I love this recipe! It’s so flavorful, simple, colorful and beautiful! What more can one ask for? You have a wonderful site :-)

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing community that launched only last week. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – http://recipenewz.com

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

  31. 31

    [...] also found my next “have to try” recipe. It’s called Queso Taco Pasta Bake from Picky-Palate.com. It sounds delicious. So far, I have pinned the photo to my Food Favorites [...]

  32. 32
    Gwen M says:

    Made this for supper tonight, it was really good!!!! I might try using grated queso cheese in the queso sauce, maybe add some chopped bell peppers to the meat! But my family loved it!!!!!

    • 32.1
      Gwen M says:

      Can’t wait to go to World Market for pasta the next time we go to the city. I used bow tie tonight in mine!

  33. 33
    Kim B. says:

    Oh my goodness does this look YUMMY!! Will definitely be making soon :)

  34. 34
    Ashley says:

    I made this for dinner tonight since we actually had ALL of the ingredients at home. That rarely happens. We usually have to make a trip to the store for something. It was so yummy and a huge hit at my house! :)

  35. 35
    Kimberli says:

    This looks delicious, I will be making it this week for my family – I don’t think they’ll object too much after I tell them it involves homemade queso!! :) Now to find a World Market near me to find some of that fun pasta…

  36. 36
    Allison says:

    OK This recipe looks amazing, however for some reason the beef isn’t working for me… I’m thinking I’d swap out beef for ground turkey thigh meat… Or is that sacrilege?

  37. 37
    Kate says:

    I saw this yesterday (I am new to your blog) and it is in the oven now, can’t wait to try it :o) and to try out some of your other gorgeous looking recipes, I have two very picky toddlers at home and so many of your recipes look like they will be winners. Thank you!

  38. 38
    Lora says:

    Looks great! Any thoughts on how this would freeze as a make-ahead meal? Thanks!

  39. 39
    Sheila says:

    Thought.. rather than in the oven for 25-30 mins, since everything is already cooked, could you put it under the broiler for 5 minutes to melt the cheese? The queso & pasta mix reminded me of my mac & cheese. I give it that baked feel by sprinkling cheese on top and a quick stop under the broiler.

    I’m always trying to make weeknight meals even faster.

  40. 40
    Carol says:

    I made this tonight and my family and I just loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  41. 41
    patsy says:

    What a fun way to enjoy Mexican flavors with pasta… and I love the pasta shape!

  42. 42

    This looks delicious. I LOVE those little pasta noodles. I’ll have to check our local Walmart and see if they carry them there. I hope so! Thanks for sharing.

  43. 43
    Alyssa says:

    Doesn’t get better than homemade queso & pasta!Can’t wait to try this!

  44. 44
    Maricar Rillera says:

    The pictures and the food looks very tempting! what kind of camera/lens do you use?

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    Made this this week and followed recipe exactly. Used whole wheat fusilli pasta. Exquisite!!!! Would not change a thing. Leftovers were just as fabulous!

  46. 46
    Alicia says:

    This looks ABSOLUTELY GRUBBIN’. I’m going to cook this tonight. Can’t wait!!Thank you for sharin’ this recipe.

  47. 47

    [...] dinner: Queso Taco Pasta Bake. Forget the pasta – with a sauce like this, pass the tortilla [...]

  48. 48
    Jason says:

    You are amazing, it’s just a matter of time before you get your own show on The Food Network!

  49. 49
    Kelly S. says:

    Have you tried making this ahead of time? I take dinner to my in-laws once a week and want to make this but am wondering how it would do made the night before…thoughts?

  50. 50
    Paula says:

    how much is 3/4 lb pasta? and is that cooked or dry? how do i know?

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Jenny Flake, Picky Palate

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!



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