Tex Mex Casserole

He won’t stop talking about it. I made this casserole several days ago and everyday since then – he still tells me how much he loved this casserole! Granted Hubby is a casserole lover but I’ve never heard him rant about it like this.

I sent leftovers to his parents’ house and now they are ranting about it.


How can something so simple be so lauded?

I bought a new cookbook last week after reading some of the recipes on a blog and knew I had to have it! It’s called Pasta Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen. It offers a fresh new spin on pasta recipes with tidbits on making perfect pastas along with casserole recipes and lighter options. It also includes America’s Test Kitchen’s recommendations for products like beans, bottled sauce and whole wheat pasta. It was fun browsing through the pages and I have many of them earmarked to make in the next few weeks.

This recipe is one of their ‘skillet baked’ recipes where you cook and mix everything in a skillet and then put it in the oven to top it off.

Simple ingredients – simple technique…

Sometimes you don’t have to make things harder than they are…this is one of those recipes. It reminds me of the old Johnny Mac that my Mom used to make…only this one has a little kick to it. Your family will talk about it for days!

What I was making a year ago – JAMMY YAMMIES!

Tex Mex Casserole
A Kitchen Muse: 
Recipe type: dinner, casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
A one pan pasta skillet recipe that will leave your family for wanting more!
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. chile powder
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni (2 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Mexican cheese (I use the 2 percent version)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 475 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a 12 inch oven proof skillet pan (non-stick is best) over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened - 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant - about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in beef, breaking up with wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink - about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in water, tomato sauce and pasta.
  7. Cover, increase heat to medium high and cook at a vigorous simmer - stirring often until pasta is al dente - about 9 - 12 minutes.
  8. Off heat, stir in corn, chiles and 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese evenly over top.
  11. Place skillet in oven and bake until cheese has melted - 10-15 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

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14 comments on “Tex Mex Casserole

  1. Jenn@slim-shoppin on said:

    I am totally going to make this over the weekend!

    I am super excited because I am meeting Chris Kimball from America’s Test kitchen in November. He’s doing a book signing in my town.

    You can’t go wrong with any of their recipes!

  2. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious on said:

    Wow, this looks fabulous! I can’t wait to give this a try – the boyfriend is going to love this!

  3. Julia {The Roasted Root} on said:

    This looks like a wonderful filling meal for the upcoming cold evenings! I love cooking on the stovetop so the fact that I can prepare this recipe in a skillet makes it that much more dreamy. Great thinking!

  4. Well,
    as always its not easy as an european to get the oz and the tbs and the cups right :)
    One question i have is what kind of canned tomatoes are meant here. something like sieved tomatoes or more like those pasta sauces that can be bought finished and just need heading up to be used with pasta?

    thanks for the recipe anyway

    • A Kitchen Muse on said:

      This recipe is flexible enough that if you wanted to use diced or sieved tomatoes – it should work out just fine. BTW – I feel the same way about grams…too bad measurements aren’t universal!

  5. This looks AMAZING!! So simple to make & I know my family will LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Laura on said:

    This looks so yummy! Question, and Maybe I missed it, but do you used COOKED elbows, or do they cook in the pan in the oven?

  7. hello I’m interested in making this dish for supper but do you have any idea what the nutritional value is? Or would I just have to use every ingredient I put in it and go by that.

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