Tex-Mex Pasta Bake is a tasty layered casserole with a southwestern flavor flair that will soon become a family favorite! Ground turkey or chicken can be substituted for the ground beef.
- 1 package (9 ounces) STOUFFER'S Creamed Spinach, defrosted*
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 package (16 ounces) dry penne pasta, prepared according to package directions
- 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
- 1 pound ground beef, cooked, drained and crumbled
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
PREHEAT oven to 400° F.
COMBINE creamed spinach and cream cheese in medium bowl. Combine pasta, salsa, beef, tomato sauce and chili powder in large bowl. Spoon half of pasta mixture into 13 x 9-inch baking pan; top with spinach mixture. Top with remaining pasta; cover.
BAKE for 30 minutes; uncover. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; bake for an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly.
FOR FREEZE AHEAD:
PREPARE as above; do not bake. Do not sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover; freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
PREHEAT oven to 400° F.
BAKE, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes; uncover. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; bake for an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly.
*DEFROST Creamed Spinach in microwave on MEDIUM (50%) power for 5 to 6 minutes.
Review This Recipe
I was a bit skeptical about this one, as it had cream cheese and spinach in a Spanish-esque recipe, but the entire family enjoyed it. Even I enjoyed it, and I don't care for cream cheese.
I made this dish for a Labor Day party and it was a hit!!! It was so easy to make and tasted amazing!
A Keeper Recipe
This recipe was very easy to make. The combination of the cream cheese and creamed spinach made the dish very tasty. I added a small can of sliced olives to the casserole.
I work at a very popular casino and have made this dish several times for a buffet and for the employees in the employee dinning room and it is always a big hit!
easy and excellent
Made this the other night...very good...very simple...too good to be so simple! I plan to make this for my book club next month but might not use a full Tb of chili powder in case some of the ladies don't like very spicy food. Was excellent the next day for lunch too.
This casserole was absolutely delicious! I used a little less pasta though and some extra tomato sauce to make it extra saucy. The creamed spinach and cream cheese mixture gave it tons of great flavor. I will be adding this one to my list of favorites!
I was skeptical using these ingredients together but I've never been disappointed with any meal on this site. Once again, a great meal that's quick. I used mozzarella cheese instead of monterey jack cheese and chose hot salsa to add a little spice and it was delicious! The flavors are great together and the cream cheese adds a real zing to the taste. I highly recommend this dish.
Wow, this recipe was great. It was fairly easy to put together and tasted wonderful. I used a mixed shredded cheese on top (tex-mex) with monteray jack, cheddar and jalapeno. It added a bit more bite. Overall, it was an incredible meal (side salad as well) and served 6. Great for family dinner party.
My kids love this
My kids absolutely clean their plate when I make this. My husband loves it too. I always have leftovers for the next day, and its great reheated. I make it often!
My family hates spinach but for some reason I decided to try this because of the listed ingredients, it sounded good. My 8 year old who is a super picky eater ate 3 helpings, my 2 year old cleaned her plate, my husband who hates to try new things loved it to! I have made it several times and every time change it a little, I use frozen spinach instead, I cook that and drain then add the cream cheese until it's melted, it spreads over the entire layer great doing it this way as before it was in clumps. I also sometimes use mozzarella cheese. You can play with this recipe so many ways and it always turns out excellent!!!!
Great change from lasagna!!!
I have been able to cook pretty good meals from this website for years, and this particular Tex-Mex bake is one of the best! Its very easy to make, doesn't require much time, and my fiance loved it! I had a hard time keeping him away from the mixture before placing it in the oven. I used medium salsa, seasoned tomatoes in addition to tomato sauce, almost twice the beef, and red pepper! the Spinach mixture is wonderful as well. I intend to add fresh spinach and more cream cheese in the future. This dish will be a regular in our household, and I look forward to bringing this to potluck dinners with friends!
Excellent - a family pleaser!
This is an very tasty casserole. I subsituted spaghetti for the penne pasta, and I substituted 10 oz frozen chopped spinach mixed w/ 1/2 cup evaporated milk and garlic powder for the Stouffer's creamed spinach. My husband loved it! I will definitely make it again!
I wouldn't have tried this recipe if there hadn't been so many positive reviews on it. It was very good! It reminds me of lasanga. My husband enjoyed it and I will make it again.
Quick and Tasty
This made a tasty quick meal for my family. I used fresh spinach and cream of mushroom soup. Even my 6 year old ate it up. Very Good !!!!!!
I made this for a group (doubled everything) and it was a hit. The spinach middle isn't too overwhelming, even the kids liked it. I mixed mild and medium salsa, next time I'll use medium or hot to give it an extra kick. I served it with Mexicali Salad (recipe on this website) and everyone loved both dishes.
This was very easy to make. It was very good. I will make it again, but I will double it next time.
Try this tonight!
I thought this was fantastic. My family loved it and it was fairly easy to prepare. I recommend it.
This turned out SOOO good! I used medium salsa instead of mild, and it gave it just the right amount of zest. Even the leftovers are great! I'm going to double it next time, and freeze some for later. You must try this recipe... you'll love it!
I love this recipe, It is so so good. And I don't even like cream spinach but I have changed my mind that is for sure. This recipe is a must try!!!!
This recipe was so easy to make and the family loved it. I substituted medium salsa for the mild salsa and it was not spicy at all. Even my 2yr asked for more. Thanks for a great meal idea!
This was a great casserole. I substituted 8 oz. Ricotta cheese for the cream cheese and doubled the amount of creamed spinach. It tasted just as good the next night when warmed up for leftovers.
IT'S YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!!
My mouth waters everytime I take this recipe out and so does everyone else's. I can't believe how good this recipe is everytime I make it. It's even good as leftovers. The cream cheese goes great with the pasta bake and I recommend this recipe to anyone who likes pasta, cheese and a party in your mouth!!!!!
I thought this was pretty good, but my husband was not too crazy about it. He ate it though, but doesn't want me to make it again. I really liked the cream cheese and thought it added a different taste. I would make it again for myself and I'm sure my husband would eat, he just wouldn't care if I never made it again.
My usual store doesnt carry the creamed spinach, but once I found it, and prepared the dish; it made a great meal.
Definitely a keeper!
We love this recipe. It kicks your basic ziti recipe up a notch. My 4 year old daughter is going through a finicky time when it comes to vegetables. I find recipes like this are a help. The spinach mixture in the middle was wonderful. She loved it. She did not believe me when I told her it was spinach. My husband loved it. It's a great dish for meal planning. It will last you a couple nights!
This was something our family of four, including 2 teenagers loved. It was fantastic. My husband said, "This is the best casserole I have ever had!" I doubled the cheese.
When the kids discovered that my "secret ingredient" was spinach, they refused to try it. Once they tried a bite though, they ate the entire thing without a fuss! Very good! I will certainly make this again!
YUMMY WW friendly recipe
This was a really tasty and easy dish to put together. I made a few simple changes to make this a weight watchers lower point recipe. I used 1 lb ground turkey breast, fat free cream cheese, and reduced fat mexican blend cheese. I figured it to be 7 points per serving when divided into 8 servings. YUMMY! Very creamy and cheesy.
Stellar Meal!!! Bravo!!!
I'm a college student living in an apt. with my boyfriend. We don't have much time to really relax and cook prize-winning meals, but I had one day where I had no work or school, so I went ahead and made this dish. It was awesome. I followed the directions exactly, except I added more cheese because we love love love cheese. We had leftovers and they were great. Will definatelly make again. Very flavourful.
MY FAMILY LOVED THE TEX-MEX PASTA DISH. I DOUBLED UP THE RECIPE AMOUNTS TO MAKE MORE. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS DISH TO ALL MY FRIENDS. I ALSO USED COLBY & MONTEREY JACK CHEESE FOR MY TOPPING.
It's a hit!
I made this pasta bake for a crowd of people I had never cooked for before. Everyone loved it! The next day, I had tons of people asking for the recipe!! It's delicious!
THIS WAS INCREDIBLY GOOD! I SERVED IT TO TWO DIFFERENT LARGE GROUPS AND HAD ALOT OF REQUESTS FOR THE RECIPE. DEFINITELY TRY THIS ONE!!!!!