By Stacey Mebs

Mexican food has been a favourite of mine for most of my life. I didn’t have it often as a child, but I clearly remember the first time we went to a Mexican restaurant. I was about 10 years old and ordered cheese quesadillas (butchering the pronunciation, I might add). I quickly determined that this was the best food I had ever had. I haven’t really changed my mind on that in the years since.

I’m very happy that my children seem to have inherited my love of Mexican food. Nights when it makes an appearance (which is often) are met with cheers. What parent doesn’t love that?

This Mexican Baked Pasta is a favourite of everyone in the family and has been since the first time I made it. It’s the ideal dish, my go-to meal when I have no idea what to make for supper. It’s fast, it’s easy, it freezes well, everyone loves it, and I always have everything on hand to make it.

Comfort food at its finest, and perfect for those busy school nights.

Mexican Baked Pasta, Courtesy of Stacey Mebs, bakeeatrepeat.ca, Edmonton

A quick family favourite made with just a handful of ingredients.

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Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
2 cups (500 mL) uncooked small pasta (such as shells, penne or rotini)
1 lb (450 g) ground beef
2 cups (500 mL) salsa
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup (175 mL) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) shredded cheese (such as Monterey jack, mozzarella or cheddar, or a combination)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain well.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, and drain the grease. Stir in salsa, corn and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes more. Stir in cooked pasta.
3. Spoon half the pasta mixture into 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish; sprinkle with half the cheese. Cover with remaining pasta mixture and top with remaining cheese.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until hot and bubbling. (Or, to make ahead, cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake. If necessary, thaw before baking. Add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time.)

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Bake.Eat.Repeat.
I’m Stacey, a stay-at-home mom of three, living in Edmonton. I discovered a love for being in the kitchen once I had kids to cook for. On my blog, Bake.Eat.Repeat., I share the family-friendly recipes I’m loving. Mostly healthy, some, not so much—it’s all about balance!