Cheesy and flavorful, this One Pot Enchilada Pasta is so easy to put together in just one dish! You'll love the bold taste of this easy pasta dinner and having less dishes to clean up.
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If you're a fan of enchiladas, this pasta synthesizes all of your favorite Mexican flavors from that dish into an easy meal! Beef with taco seasoning comes together with pasta in a creamy and flavorful enchilada sauce.
Best of all, it comes together in one pot for super simple prep, cooking, and cleanup! That leaves space on the counter to prepare a side dish like this Corn with Cilantro Lime Butter.
Why this Recipe Works
One pot recipes like this cheesy pasta are fantastic and versatile. They're quick and simple enough for a weeknight dinner in a pinch, but can also be served for a Sunday dinner or even holidays!
If you love this fun and easy take on Mexican food, I also recommend my One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole!
- Ground Beef: another kind of ground meat would work. If you do use ground beef, feel free to use lean ground beef to lighten it up a bit.
- Onion: White or yellow onion works great.
- Taco Seasoning: Prepackaged works great or make a homemade version.
- Enchilada Sauce: I use mild enchilada sauce, but you can use hot if you prefer.
- Beef Broth: helps form the sauce and infuses the dish with more savory flavor. Can be substituted for chicken broth or another kind of broth if you like.
- Pasta: I used rotini pasta for this recipe, but feel free to switch it up and use your favorite shape.
- Cream Cheese: this will give the sauce a rich and creamy texture.
- Shredded Cheese: I used Sharp cheddar cheese and Colby Jack. Pepperjack and jack cheese are also great options.
- Garnishes: fresh chopped cilantro is always an excellent addition, and you can add your favorite enchilada toppings like sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, or jalapenos (green chiles).
How to Make this One Pot Enchilada pasta
- Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or large pot over medium high heat and cook the beef until nearly browned.
- Step 2: Add the chopped onions and cook until beef is no longer pink
- Step 3: Stir in taco seasoning.
- Step 4: Add the broth and enchilada sauce, then stir and bring to a simmer.
- Step 5: Add the pasta and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and some of the liquid is absorbed.
- Step 6: Reduce heat and add cream cheese, mix well, then fold in cheese until melted and incorporated.
- For some added heat, sprinkle in some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes. You can also buy a specifically spicy enchilada sauce.
- You can also add other kinds of veggies to this pasta, like red bell pepper or green bell pepper, black olives, mushrooms, or some black beans or pinto beans.
- If your sauce is a bit too thin to coat the pasta evenly, add a splash of broth or regular water.
- Feel free to use a homemade enchilada sauce if you have a go-to recipe.
- Another option is to forego the ground beef altogether. You could serve this vegetarian, or stir in some grilled chicken breast towards the end of cooking.
Yes, this one pot dish is great because you don't need to cook the pasta in a separate pot of water. It takes a bit longer since the sauce is thicker than water and isn't as easily absorbed, but it means you'll only have one dish to wash!
Absolutely! If you have a particularly large skillet, you could even double or triple the recipe. Just be aware that cooking times may increase with larger portions.
Once your pasta has cooled some, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can also be kept in the freezer for a couple of months or so.
There are multiple ways to heat up leftovers. Cook in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until heated through. Place in the oven in a covered, oven-safe dish at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Or, transfer back to a pot over the stove top and heat that way, adding more liquid as needed. All frozen leftovers to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
One Pot Cheesy Enchilada Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 19 ounce can of enchilada sauce, mild
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 8 ounces rotini pasta, 3 cups
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups Colby cheese or cheddar
- Cilantro, fresh diced tomatoes, jalapenos optional
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Brown for 2-3 minutes then add in the diced onions and continue cooking until no longer pink. Drain any extra fat.
- Add in the taco seasoning and stir.
- Pour in the enchilada sauce, and beef broth and bring back to a simmer.
- Add in the uncooked pasta, stir, cover, and simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Until the pasta is tender and some of the liquid is absorbed.
- Reduce heat to low and add in the cream cheese, stir until melted.
- Fold in the shredded cheese and stir until creamy.
- Garnish with diced tomatoes, cilantro and jalapenos if desired.