30 minute Easy Mexican Pasta

The other day we were trying to figure out what to have for dinner.  We wanted something Mexican, but the Dashing Son wanted pasta.  So I figured I could combine the two, and came up with this recipe for, ta-da, Mexican Pasta. 

It takes about 30 minutes total to get everything ready, and it makes a quite a bit of food.  Enough to serve a family of three (Dashing Daughter doesn’t eat that much right now) for two nights, and have probably a third night in the freezer for emergencies.


  • 16 oz of Pasta – Rigatoni, bow tie, etc.  Basically anything but spaghetti or fettuccini
  • 1.2 lbs of ground turkey (or beef)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
  • 2 cans black beans – drained (you may replace one or both cans with kidney beans if you prefer)
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or one can whole kernel corn – drained)
  • 28 oz enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice – divided
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Cheese and sour cream
  • Olives and green onions for garnish (optional)


Cook pasta according to package to al dente.  Brown the ground meat and drain if necessary.  (to make best use of my time, I cut the onions while the meat is browning.) Add the garlic, onions, and half of the lime juice and cook until the onions translucent.  Then add the black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, seasoning, and the other half the lime juice. Cook over medium-high heat until the enchilada sauce starts to boil. Add the pasta, return to boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. 


Before adding noodles

Before adding noodles

Simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the sauce thicken.  If it is too thick you can add some chicken broth, but add it 1/2 cup at a time. 


When it is all done cooking.

When it is all done cooking.

If you want, you can add a cup (or two) of cheddar cheese and mix it in, and/or you can add more cheese to your own serving.  Top with sour cream, green onions, and olives if you want.  You can also add some hot sauce if you want to liven it up a little.

In the bowl with cheese and sour cream.

In the bowl with cheese and sour cream.


I had started formulating this recipe on paper, but just as I was wrapping up, the Dashing Wife found something similar on Pinterest.  I say it was similar because it had pasta, turkey, enchilada sauce, and taco seasoning as the main ingredients (original recipe here – http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2013/12/09/one-pan-enchilada-pasta/).  The original author had it as a one pan dish.  I tried it that way and it was way too liquidy.  I liked my way better, despite the need to wash an extra pot and strainer. 

If you want to try it as a single pan dish, don’t cook the noodles first.  After adding the enchilada sauce and spices, also add in the dried pasta and 2 cups of chicken broth.  Stir everything about.  If it seems a little dry, add some more chicken broth, a half cup at a time.  Once you bring it to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Then uncover, and turn the heat up to medium to boil off some of the excess liquid.


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