Quick, easy, and flavorful Enchilada Pasta Casserole is a great weeknight dish for the entire family!
Enchilada Pasta Casserole
I LOVE Mexican food, especially enchiladas, but I don’t always have the time and dedication to make and roll individual enchiladas.
With this enchilada pasta casserole, I can bypass the tedious work of rolling enchiladas, without sacrificing my craving for enchiladas.
It’s like a deconstructed enchilada in a casserole where all of the beef, cheese, and sauce is freely flowing throughout a casserole dish, weaved in between egg noodles for a little pasta flair.
Don’t be afraid that a large casserole dish will make too much, trust me you’ll love having the leftovers, and I’m sure not even a single noodle will go to waste.
How To Make Enchilada Pasta
In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook egg noodles according to package instructions. In the meantime, in a very large skillet, brown your ground beef then drain the fat. Then add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and add in the cream cheese until melted and combined.
In a large bowl, combine sour cream, enchilada sauce, half the cheddar cheese, half the monterey jack cheese, corn kernels, and diced green chiles. Stir to combine. Pour mixture over the beef and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, drain your pasta and add it to the beef mixture.
In a large casserole dish, pour in the pasta mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake until cheese has completely melted. Serve hot.
Can I Make It A Vegetarian Enchilada Pasta Casserole?
It’s very easy to make this recipe into a vegetarian option. You have a couple different options to chose from.
The easiest way to turn this into a vegetarian enchilada pasta is to simply omit the ground beef.
Since there’s a lot going on in the casserole, the dish can still stand on its own (and taste delicious) without the added ground beef.
If you don’t want to just completely eliminate that protein source, you can also add crumbled tofu to act as a ground beef substitute.
Check out this recipe for Vegan Tofu Taco Crumbles to see how to make tofu the resembles ground beef.
The last option you have is to find some plant-based “ground beef” this will be a plant-based meat-like product that will closely resemble the flavor and texture of ground beef without any of the actual meat.
BeyondMeat is a good product line to try that’s easy to find in most grocery stores.
Can I Use Different Noodles?
You can use just about any noodles you prefer with just a few exceptions. I do suggest the thicker or spiraled noodles because they are better for really grabbing all of the sauce, meat, and cheese. Thinner noodles like spaghetti won’t really work for this one because they just can’t hold up as well for a casserole like this one.
I’ve never tried it with short noodles like penne or ziti noodles, but I’m sure the recipe will work fine with those noodle types too.
Is This Recipe Spicy?
There is a bit of spice to the enchilada pasta because of the cayenne pepper, and the green chiles.
I wouldn’t say its overly spicy though. If you prefer completely mild you can skip those two ingredients, or tone them down, or choose a mild enchilada sauce.
To amp up the spice, try adding a handful of seeded jalapeno slices.
Tips For Serving and Saving An Enchilada Casserole Recipe
Casseroles are amazingly versatile when it comes to how to serve them. This Enchilada pasta casserole would be a great addition to any Cinco De Mayo party or Mexican themed fiesta.
That’s not where the line is drawn; whip out this recipe when you know you have a busy week coming up.
Casseroles are notorious for reheating well and being a dish you can feast on throughout the course of a couple days or even up to a week.
I love fixing up this recipe on a Sunday night before a particularly busy week, so I can still feel like I’m getting a home cooked meal without having to spend time making a new recipe every night.
When stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator you can store the enchilada pasta casserole for up to one week.
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Enchilada Pasta Casserole
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1: 10- oz can enchilada sauce , I used the red sauce
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1: 4- oz can diced green chiles
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook egg noodles according to package instructions.
- In the meantime, in a very large skillet, brown your ground beef then drain the fat. Then add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add in the cream cheese until melted and combined.
- In a large bowl, combine sour cream, enchilada sauce, half the cheddar cheese, half the monterey jack cheese, corn kernels, and diced green chiles. Stir to combine.
- Pour mixture over the beef and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain your pasta. After you’ve drained it, add the pasta to the beef mixture. Make sure everything is coated in the sauce.
- In a large casserole dish, pour in the pasta mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has completely melted.
- Serve hot. Keep in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Photography by Jesse Reilly