10 March 2011

recipe: Mexican pasta skillet

Or Mexican Chop Suey, if you will.  This dish was mentioned when Nicole from Flip Flops and Combat Boots did an "Inspire Me" post way back in January with my suggestions.  (Check it out here.)  She loved it, and many of the commenters wanted the recipe, so here it is, folks!

I cannot take any credit at all for this recipe.  It came from some book somewhere and my friend shared it with me, and now I'm sharing it with you.  I believe that is how recipes are supposed to work.

The ingredients are ground beef (or a substitute would probably be fine), tomato sauce, jar of salsa, water, elbow mac, frozen corn niblets, and cheese.

6 ingredients (not including water).  6 cheers for simplicity.

Another great thing about this recipe: you only get one pan dirty!  We'll start with the hardest part: cook your meat.  And drain if necessary.

Then, add your tomato products --a whole jar of salsa and the can of tomato sauce-- along with the water.  Give it a nice little stir and then bring your little soupy mess up to boiling.

I once used diced tomatoes because we were out of tomato sauce.   Turned out fine.
Once it's boiling, then you add the macaroni and the corn.  Cover and simmer for 11-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to get the mac stuck to the bottom off. 

If you look really closely in the 3rd picture, you can see the Alphabet noodles I tried to sneak in halfway through because I didn't have enough elbow mac.

Once the macaroni is tender, it's time to add the cheese!  Throw a handful (or two) on the top, then cover and simmer for another 1-2 minutes until it melts.

This actually turned out soupier than it was supposed to because I didn't have enough pasta.  Still tasty though!
I'm gonna warn you now.  This makes A LOT OF FOOD.  I'd say it's about 6 servings.  We ate it for 3 nights and then I think I had the rest for lunch one day (making it 7 servings for this house).  Here's a picture of the leftover container after B had scarfed down a huge helping and I ate a normal serving on the first night.

Use the bananas and wine bottle as size references.

The full recipe, about 25 minutes total, serves 6:

1 lb ground beef
1 jar (16oz.) salsa, choose your level of heat
1 cup (8oz. can) tomato sauce
1.5 cups water
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen corn niblets
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)

1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked; drain.
2. Stir in salsa, tomato sauce, and water.  Heat to boiling.
3. Stir in macaroni and corn.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until macaroni is tender.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover; let stand 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted.


  1. now i want this for dinner. it was seriously so yummy!

  2. Ooh, this looks good! I'm going to add this to our rotation.

  3. Yum! I've made something like this before, substituting black beans for the meat. It's delish- I'll have to have it this weekend!

  4. Anything with the word Mexican in it and I'm in!!!

  5. Looks delicious...and so easy!

  6. mmmm yummmmmmyy!!! Thanks for linking up with me today!!