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Katie's Cucina

Mexican Baked Penne

When I first spotted this recipe on my friend Aggie’s blog-I knew I needed to make it. We love both pasta and Mexican and food and knew that it would be something different to jazz up the nightly dinner. Boy did it ever. My husband went bonkers over this meal. He had declared it one of the best meals I’ve cooked in a while (thanks Aggie!). I recognize that some of the best meals are simple and full of flavor. That is what this meal is. It’s unique. Best of all… I was able to hide the whole grain penne pasta that I used. I love whole grain pasta’s, but my husband not-so-much. He had no clue that he was eating whole grain pasta until after he was done and I asked him how he liked it. He wasn’t shocked (because he know’s I’m sneaky), and he definitely didn’t complain about it. All-in-all this is a wonderful week night meal. If you have kids who love Mexican food this just might be the dish for you. You can sneak in some veggies and whole grains while still making it taste good. 

Source: Aggie’s Kitchen 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 
Servings: 6-8


Half box of Whole Wheat Penne
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp each cumin and chili powder
4 cups homemade salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
2 cups of Mexican blend cheese

*top with sour cream or guacamole and additional shredded cheese if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. 
2. In a large non-stick skillet, add oil, garlic, peppers, and onions. Saute until softened (10 minutes). Add ground beef and brown. Add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the drained black beans and 1 jar of salsa. Mix well. Then add the cooked pasta. Toss well. 
3. In a large casserole dish spread half the jar of salsa on the bottom of the pan, then add half the mixture to the pan. Spread 1 cup shredded cheese on top of pasta. Add the remaining pasta, salsa, and top with cheese. 
4. Bake (covered with tin foil) for 25 minutes. Remove the tin foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the pasta is bubbling and cheese has melted. Serve with additional shredded cheese (and sour cream if desired). 

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7 Responses to “Mexican Baked Penne”

  1. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups posted on September 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm (#)

    Awesome idea! Mexican and Italian are two of my favorite cuisine types!

  2. brettb734 posted on September 19, 2011 at 1:13 am (#)

    That looks really good! I may be working this one in on the next meal plan.

  3. Aggie posted on September 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm (#)

    I'm so glad you made and enjoyed this pasta! This is a huge favorite in our house. : )

  4. Walking by Faith posted on September 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm (#)

    Mmmm…. following your food blog now, too! I think I just found dinner for tonight. šŸ˜‰

    Kim @ Little Rays of Sunshine

  5. Amy posted on June 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm (#)

    I just made this for my monthly meal swap and it looks and smells amazing! I even made one for myself, which I never do…I can’t wait to eat this yummy dish!

    • Katie replied on June 20th, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Amy glad to hear that you made this recipe! I love making this when I have leftover taco meat! Hope your group loves it as much as I do!


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