From Valerie: This is hands-down one of the quickest, easiest recipes in my collection. It’s a variation of a casserole I’ve made for ages that I’ve modified to take place all in one pan in about 30 minutes from start to finish. The familiar Mexican flavors make it a great family-friendly choice. Instead of purchasing a packet of taco seasoning from the grocery store, make a batch of my homemade mix and keep it on hand for all your Mexican-inspired dishes
Reprinted with permission from The Foolproof Family Slow Cooker by Valerie Brunmeier, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019
For the Flavor Fiesta Taco Seasoning:
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (I used a pinch)
For the cheesy taco pasta skillet:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Flavor Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (4-ounce) can mild diced green chiles
- 8 ounces uncooked short dry pasta like fusilli, rotelli, elbows or penne
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheeses, divided
For the garnish:
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- Sour cream
1 Assemble the seasoning mix: Combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and chili flakes in a small bowl.
Note: This will make more than you need for this recipe. Store leftovers in a covered glass jar.
2 Cook the ground beef with onions and garlic: Place a large deep skillet or sauté pan with a lid over medium heat and add the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring to break up the meat, until browned. Drain off as much of the excess grease from the skillet as possible and return it to the heat.
3 Season and simmer: Add the fiesta taco seasoning mix and stir to combine it well with the beef. Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, chiles, and pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
3 Add the corn and simmer: Remove the cover, stir in the corn, and simmer for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce has been mostly absorbed.
4 Stir in the cheeses: Turn the heat off and stir in half of the Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and cover the skillet for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with the black olives, cilantro, and green onions.
5 Garnish and serve: Garnish individual servings with sour cream, if desired. The pasta will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge in a covered container.