One-Pan Cheesy Salsa Pasta is a Mexican-inspired dinner idea that you can make easily in 30 minutes or less — and you’ll have only one pan to clean up!
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Here’s what I love even more: it’s like a casserole, but doesn’t have to go in the oven.
See, I’m a casserole fan, but I’m not a fan of heating up my oven. Sure, I turn it on and cook stuff in it all the time. There is plenty of desserts that require the use of an oven and there is no way around that. But after living in the desert most of the last 30 years of my life, I will do everything possible to avoid turning on my oven when the weather is warm…which is more often than not.
But, let’s just say for the fun of it, that you don’t mind turning on your oven. You will still love several things about this recipe:
- It’s cooked all in ONE pan. Yep, one pan, with a lid, is all you need.
- You don’t have to precook the pasta, which means you won’t have to drain it.
- It’s quick to make and the steps are simple
To give this recipe a rich flavor, the key ingredient is Progresso Recipe Starters in the Fire-Roasted Tomato variety. It features roasted & caramelize tomatoes, garlic powder, and spices — so you don’t have to measure out any extra seasonings. The Fire-Roasted Tomato is my favorite to keep on hand because of how versatile is for both Mexican or Italian style dinners, which are two favorites in our house.
You’ll need very few ingredients for this recipe too. You’ll need:
- One pouch of the Progresso Recipe Starters (Fire-Roasted Tomato)
- Salsa - any variety or flavor you like
- Chicken broth – a 14 oz can make it easy so you don’t have to measure
- Black beans - I used a ones that had jalapenos added, but use whatever you prefer
- Whole grain pasta - I used macaroni
- Shredded cheese — I used cheddar, but you could use Monteray jack, colby jack, or a Mexican blend, if you prefer
- Optional toppings: tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, etc
With the heat off, but while the mixture is still hot, sprinkle part of the cheese on top and gently stir it in. Then, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, cover, and allow it to melt. If you wish, you can place the pan under your boiler to brown the cheese a bit, but this is totally optional (and should only be done if the pan your using is resistant to high heat).
We topped our Cheesy Salsa Pasta with some chopped tomatoes and cilantro, which gives it such great color. Other options would be chopped or sliced avocado, sour cream, sliced olives, or even some additional salsa.
Dish it up and serve! This Cheesy Salsa Pasta was a HUGE hit with our kids — even our youngest son who is anti-salsa thought this was awesome. Just the word “salsa” had him worried, but I assured him that I chose a mild variety and that it wouldn’t be spicy. If you want it spicier, be sure to go for a medium or hot salsa.
- 1 pouch (9 ounces) Progresso Recipe Starters Fire-Roasted Tomato Cooking Sauce
- 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 1 can (14 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces whole grain pasta (such as macaroni)
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheese, divided (such as cheddar, colby-jack, pepper jack, etc)
- Optional toppings: Chopped tomatoes, chopped or sliced avocado, guacamole, salsa, sliced olives, sour cream, cilantro, etc.
- In a large frying pan, combine all ingredients, except for the cheese. Heat to boiling over high heat. When liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is tender and nearly all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and immediately gently stir in about 4 ounces of the shredded cheese (about 1 cup) into the hot pasta. Sprinkle remaining 8 ounces (about 2 cups) on top of the hot pasta, cover with lid until melted. Serve with optional toppings.
- TIP: If desired, place pan (if heat resistant to high temperatures) under broiler to brown cheese a bit (this is completely optional).
--Want it extra cheesy? Go for 16 ounces of cheese and mix half of it into the pasta and top with the other half.