Beef Enchilada Pasta Skillet (with Video)

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An easy, cheesy take on a family favorite, this Beef Enchilada Pasta is a flavorful (but not spicy) pasta that skips boring old tomato sauce and is best enjoyed loaded with your favorite enchilada toppings!

How to make enchilada pasta, a hearty, cheesy and flavorful alternative to classic enchiladas. This easy weeknight family meal is ready in 22 minutes and makes enough for leftovers the next day. Serve with your favorite enchilada toppings on the side.

Beef Enchilada Pasta Recipe

We don’t do Taco Tuesdays in this house – we do Enchilada night!

The cheesy, saucy and protein-packed cousin of the taco is (in my opinion) way more satisfying and delicious.

However, if you’ve made homemade enchiladas before you already know – they are a lot of work! And while totally worth it, some nights I just do not have the time to whip up a batch, so this “deconstructed” beef enchilada pasta is a great alternative.

It has all of the same amazing flavors that you love from enchiladas but only takes X minutes to whip up (compared to about an hour for my favorite Baked Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas).

The result is a cheesy, zesty, hearty meat sauce served up with perfectly tender noodles and hiding as many veggies as you dare. While this recipe is for a beef enchilada pasta, I’ve also made this recipe with chicken and it would definitely work with pulled pork or beans.

We like to provide a few different toppings options, like sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, salsa verde, salsa, sour cream, etc, and let everyone “load up” their enchilada pasta.

Veggie Note: You’ll notice in the recipe below that I only indicate onions, garlic and tomatoes for veggies. I encourage you to add in your family’s favorites and then offer even more veggies on the side for everyone to use as toppings. I don’t want someone to see beans, corn, peppers or another vegetable suggestion for this recipe and write it off because their family doesn’t like those – so I’m leaving that addition up to you.

Can you freeze this enchilada pasta? You can freeze the meat sauce on it’s own, but freezing with the pasta will result in the pasta becoming mushy. Freeze the meat sauce in an airtight freezer container and allow to thaw at room temperature before reheating and mixing with freshly cooked pasta. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)

Since this recipe makes a ton of pasta, you may end up with leftovers. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days – but if your family loves this recipe as much as mine does, you’ll be lucky if the extras stick around for more than a day!

What kind of pasta noodles should I use for enchilada pasta? I liked using cavatappi in this recipe because it really grips the meat sauce and ensures that every bite has plenty of toppings. However, any textured or thick pasta noodle (like rotini, gemelli or fusili) will work great. But no matter which type of pasta you use – do not rinse it!!!

How can I spice up this enchilada pasta? Since this recipe is pretty mild (to me anyways) you may want to amp up the heat if your family likes their spice. Add chopped green chiles or jalapenos, use a spicy enchilada sauce or hit up the sauce with ancho chile powder, cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce.

More Enchilada-Inspired Recipes

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Check out our full collection here!

Also, my friend Corinne just put out an Instant Pot ecookbook for just $4.99! I have tried a few of the recipes myself and they are delicious and family friendly. I highly recommend it for a reliable collection of Instant Pot recipes to help you fall in love with your IP (if you haven’t already).

 

Check out our quick recipe video to see how easy this cheesy beef enchilada pasta recipe is to make – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:

 

Beef Enchilada Pasta Ingredients

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: we don’t add additional salt and pepper to this recipe as the enchilada sauce and tomatoes add some sodium and the chili powder adds heat. You can add those to your ingredients list, if desired.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Large Cast Iron Skillet <– I love the versatility of a good cast-iron pan – you can make everything from eggs to dessert in them and they transition easily from the stove to the oven. This one is pre-seasoned and great for even heating
  • Sharp Kitchen Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Cheese Shredder
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
  • Colander

How to Make Beef Enchilada Pasta

Place the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Once the oil-butter mixture is melted and hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the sliced garlic and cook 1 minute, then add the ground beef, cumin and chili powder.

Cook the ground beef until it is completely browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.

While the beef is cooked, prepare the pasta according to package instructions and drain. (Do not rinse.)

Once the ground beef is fully cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce and queso fresco to the skillet.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Add in the pasta and stir to coat with the meat sauce.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the entire skillet and allow to melt. (Place a lid over the skillet, if needed.)

Remove from heat and serve with your favorite enchilada-inspired toppings.

 

Pin this Easy Enchilada Pasta for your meal planning inspiration:

An easy, cheesy take on a family favorite, this Beef Enchilada Pasta is a flavorful (but not spicy) pasta that skips boring old tomato sauce and is best enjoyed loaded with your favorite enchilada toppings!

Grab your free printable recipe card for our beef enchilada pasta skillet recipe:

Beef Enchilada Pasta Skillet

Beef Enchilada Pasta Skillet

An easy, cheesy take on a family favorite, this Beef Enchilada Pasta is a flavorful (but not spicy) pasta that skips boring old tomato sauce and is best enjoyed loaded with your favorite enchilada toppings!

Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chilli Powder
  • 1 28-oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 8 oz Queso Fresco
  • 2 cups Cheese, shredded 
  • 1lb Uncooked Pasta

Instructions

  1. Place the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil-butter mixture is melted and hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the sliced garlic and cook 1 minute, then add the ground beef, cumin and chili powder.
  4. Cook the ground beef until it is completely browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. While the beef is cooked, prepare the pasta according to package instructions and drain. (Do not rinse.)
  6. Once the ground beef is fully cooked, add the crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce and queso fresco to the skillet.
  7. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add in the pasta and stir to coat with the meat sauce.
  9. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the entire skillet and allow to melt. (Place a lid over the skillet, if needed.)
  10. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite enchilada-inspired toppings.

Notes

You'll notice in the recipe below that I only indicate onions, garlic and tomatoes for veggies. I encourage you to add in your family's favorites and then offer even more veggies on the side for everyone to use as toppings. I don't want someone to see beans, corn, peppers or another vegetable suggestion for this recipe and write it off because their family doesn't like those - so I'm leaving that addition up to you.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 674Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1529mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 38g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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I hope your family loves this enchilada pasta recipe as much as mine does!

For more beef dinners, check out our full beef recipe collection here:

For more perfect pastas, check out our full pasta recipe collection here:

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