Quick Queso Pasta Recipe: Don't Scroll Past This Creamy Mexican Pasta Recipe by Donna John
What happens when you combine pasta and a queso dip-inspired sauce? A rich, creamy, badass queso pasta recipe, that's what. This easy Mexican pasta recipe is full of flavor and a filling, quick dinner.
Taco-seasoned ground beef and cooked pasta is folded into a rich queso sauce. The easy queso sauce is made with fire-roasted tomatoes, cream cheese, processed cheese, cheddar cheese (lots of cheese!), chopped green chiles and heavy cream, milk or half and half. That's it. No baking involved! Everything cooks on the stovetop.
I recommend using a fresh garnish on top to cut some of the richness (I used chopped red onion and fresh cilantro). If you want to make it vegetarian or serve it as a side dish, simply skip the first step and omit the ground beef. I served it with a salad dressed in avocado ranch salad dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 pound ground beef (optional)
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 packet taco seasoning, divided (I used Old El Paso Taco Seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 16 ounces short pasta (I used penne)
- 1 can (14 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes or tomatoes with green chiles (I used fire-roasted tomatoes)
- 1 box (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1 box (8 ounces) processed cheese loaf, cut into cubes (I used Velveeta)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, milk or half and half (optional)
- optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, chopped avocado, chopped fresh tomatoes, fresh jalapenos
Here's how to make it:
- Cook the ground beef and chopped jalapeno in a skillet until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain fat. Add half the packet of taco seasoning (you'll use the rest in the sauce) and water. Cook, stirring, until the water evaporates, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain in a colander and reserve a little of the pasta water.
- To the same pot, add the tomatoes, cream cheese, processed cheese, cheddar cheese, remaining taco seasoning (2 tablespoons) and green chiles. Stir over low heat until thoroughly melted and hot. If it's too thick, add the heavy cream or some of the reserved pasta water (I used heavy cream).
- Put the pasta and cooked beef into the queso sauce. Stir to combine.
- Serve with desired toppings.
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