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25-Minute Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake

It only takes 25 minutes to bring this scrumptious Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake to the table. It’s easy, tasty, and even kind of healthy. Perfect weeknight meal without the fuss.

25-Minute Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake 2

What’s better than a terrifically comforting pasta dish on a busy weeknight?

Not much, except that exact pasta dish dancing with bold Mexican flavors, cooked up in just 25 minutes.

Generally speaking, I suppose pasta and cheese aren’t synonymous with the word healthy. Unless you use whole grain pasta, light cheese, and lean protein. Plus fresh herbs, lotsa garlic, and include the mighty avocado.

That’s a real food kind of meal I feel awesome about feeding my growth-spurting boys. They easily gobble this Mexican Pasta Bake up like nobody’s business.

Bonus: I still get my pasta and cheese fix 😇 …

25-Minute Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake 1

This Mexican Pasta Bake is the best of both worlds – it has the big flavors of tacos, teamed up with pasta.

It bakes up to a deliciously yummy dream of a casserole.

No heavy cream or any cream involved. It’s light yet satisfying; it doesn’t weigh you down like casseroles can.

Easy, tasty, healthyish. It’s the perfect weeknight meal, without the fuss. Enjoy!

25-Minute healthy mexican pasta bake 3

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mexican pasta casserole

25-Minute Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake

It only takes 25 minutes to bring this scrumptious Healthy Mexican Pasta Bake to the table. It’s easy, tasty, and even kind of healthy. Perfect weeknight meal without the fuss.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 oz uncooked whole grain corkscrew pasta (or other pasta)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1.25 oz or 2 1/2 TB homemade taco seasoning (or store bought)
  • 32 oz jar chunky salsa
  • 1 can (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 can (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided (light or low-fat is fine)
  • Garnishes: freshly chopped cilantro, avocado slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack on upper middle position. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil; cook pasta just to al dente only, taking care not to over cook. Drain immediately. Add drained pasta back to the empty pot and set aside (sprinkle with a bit of olive oil if needed to prevent sticking)
  3. While pasta is cooking: In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 TB olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic, stirring 2 min. Add ground meat and cook to brown. Stir in taco seasoning, salsa, black beans, olives, and oregano. Cook 1 minute until mixture is heated through.
  4. Add browned meat mixture to the pot of cooked/drained pasta, stirring to combine. Transfer to greased baking dish and evenly top with cheese. Bake uncovered 10 minutes just until cheese melts. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and avocado. Serve immediately.

Notes

Be sure to have the oven ready to go, so that once you combine the pasta and meat mixture, it immediately goes into the oven. Otherwise, your pasta might soak up too much sauce before it reaches the oven.

  • Category: dinner, main
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

Source: Chew Out Loud

Kitchen Essentials:

Mexican Style Meals to Love:

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2. 30-Minute Mexican Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Mexican Chicken and Quinoa Stew

3. Tender Carnitas – Mexican Pulled Pork

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