Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet

skillet full of a ground beef and noodle casserole
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Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet

Creating a fiesta of flavor at home is easy when you serve up this yummy Mexican beef pasta skillet. Ground beef and spaghetti noodles come together in the zesty dish that everyone goes crazy for.

A spoonful of ground beef mexican skillet.

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Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’…..

You don’t need Mexican take-out when there’s a big skillet of this Ground Beef and Noodle Fiesta Skillet on the stove. We love Mexican everything in this house, that’s for certain.

I don’t know about you, but I really like cooking dishes that I know my family is going to scarf right down, and anything with the flavors of Mexican fiesta is going to leave behind an empty pan – my favorite thing to find at the end of an meal…..there’s no better compliment!

We are fans of Mexican Beef and Cheese Sanchiladas, Chunky Chicken Burrito Skillet, Walking Taco Pull-Apart Bread, just to list a few!

Whenever we have friends over for a meal, they always seem to love these Southwest Sloppy Joes (usually served as a dip with tortilla chips or as sliders), and my Tex Mex Chicken Cornbread Casserole, too.

When it comes to Mexican, we don’t mess around in this house, let me tell ya. Are you a fan of tamales like we are? Check out these Pork Tamales Rojo, made with Instant Pot pulled pork. I bet you’ll fall in love with Tex Mex Beef and Rice Skillet with Chipotle Crema just like we have!

Also, if you’d like to make this recipe in your Instant Pot, check out Instant Pot 3-Minute Fiesta Beef and Spaghetti.

How to Make Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet in 5 Simple Steps

1, In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and taco seasoning together, then drain any fats that accumulate in the skillet.

2. Add the tomato paste to the cooked ground beef and let it cook with the beef in the skillet for a minute or so. (This really gives the tomato paste a deep, rich flavor.)

3. Now add the diced tomatoes with green chilies and their juices, the chicken broth, and the spaghetti.

4. Cover the skillet with a lid, letting everything simmer for 15 minutes or so, until the noodles are tender. Sprinkle with both cheeses, covering the skillet once more for a minute or so until the cheese is nicely melted.

5. Garnish the fiesta skillet with the tomatoes and cilantro. Serve at once garnished with sour cream and crushed tortilla chips, as desired.

A skillet full of fiesta skillet

Easy Recipe Tips for Making This One-Skillet Beef Taco Pasta

What’s the best way to brown ground beef so it’s really flavorful?

  • Such a great question! Before adding your ground beef (or any ground meat, for that matter) to the skillet, be sure the skillet is very nicely hot, over medium high heat. When the ground beef hits the hot skillet, it browns off, caramelizing the meat to give it a nice sear on the outside, adding great flavor.

Can I use other types of ground meat in this recipe in place of the ground beef?

  • Surely. I often substitute ground venison in this Fiesta Skillet because we’ve always got a freezer full. You could also substitute ground bison, ground turkey, or ground chicken, too.

If I don’t happen to have spaghetti pasta on hand for this recipe, can I substitute other types of pasta?

  • So glad you asked. I often substitute angel hair pasta for the spaghetti, but I’ve also used elbow macaroni, small shell, and penne pasta, too.
  • Just know that when you use the other types of pasta, you may have to simmer them a little longer to be sure they are fully tender. The bigger pastas will also absorb more liquid as they rest, so you may end up adding more broth.
  • Also, I’ve noticed that when I’m substituting pastas other than spaghetti or angel hair, this dish isn’t as creamy in texture. I really prefer using the angel hair pasta, if possible!

When I made this skillet meal, it sure seemed like there was a lot of liquid in the skillet after I added the tomatoes and broth. Is this how it should be?

  • Yep. This is because as the skillet sits a bit for the cheese to melt and for it to be served, the pasta will absorb a lot of that liquid and the skillet meal will still be nice and moist instead of a bunch of dried out pasta.

Does this Mexican pasta reheat well?

  • We actually love it as leftovers. Sometimes you may need to add a little chicken broth or some salsa to moisten it up a bit before popping it into the microwave.

I was thinking about adding chili beans or pinto beans to the ground beef and spaghetti noodles. Would this taste good?

  • Excellent idea – it would definitely be delicious and would also help your meal go further, making it even more budget friendly!

What’s so great about cooking with cast iron?

  • I love cast iron for many reasons. For one, it provides very even heat for cooking, creates superior browning, and can go from stove top to oven to the grill – it’s super versatile! And, because cast iron holds heat well, it’s great for serving dinner at the table family-style.
  • For this recipe, I use a large 12-inch cast iron skillet.
Skillet of mexican pasta.

Why This Easy Ground Beef One-Pan Skillet Meal is Such a Winner!

  • I really like this recipe because it’s very flavorful, offers bright colors that look very appetizing, and its super easy to whip up.
  • I love any meal that I can cook in just ONE pan!
  • It’s very budget friendly and every where I take this meal – potluck, school function, or whatever – it’s super well received.
  • I also like how creamy this skillet gets – totally a surprise to me!

What Tools are Helpful When Making Fiesta Beef and Noodle Casserole (in a skillet)?

  • A 12″ cast iron skillet. I like the Lodge brand 12-inch cast iron skillet. If you cook on a smooth-top range, you’ll want to use cast iron that is enamel-coated on the inside and out, like this Lodge skillet.
  • For chopping the fresh cilantro (or any fresh herbs, actually) I love using my kitchen shears. Just put the cilantro into a small, rather deep little bowl and get to chopping!

Other Skillet Meals Your Family Will Dig –

Printable Recipe for Making Beef and Noodle Fiesta Skillet

Ground Beef and Noodle Fiesta Skillet

Creating a fiesta of flavor at home is easy when you serve up this yummy Mexican beef pasta skillet. Ground beef and spaghetti noodles come together in the zesty dish that everyone goes crazy for.

Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cast iron skillet, ground beef, skillet, skillet meal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbs. of your favorite taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies, with juice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. spaghetti or angel hair pasta, broken into thirds
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and crushed tortilla chips, as desired, for toppings

Instructions

  1. Heat a 12” heavy-bottomed skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium high heat; when the skillet is nicely hot, add the ground beef and taco seasoning, cooking and crumbling the beef until it is fully cooked throughout and no pink remains; drain any fats that accumulate.

    (If the beef is extra lean, you may need to add a bit of oil to the skillet for browning the beef.)

  2. Add the tomato paste to the ground beef mixture and cook for 1 full minute, stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, 3 cups of broth, and the broken spaghetti pieces.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil; cover the skillet, reducing the heat; simmer until the noodles are cooked and tender, approx. 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from heat and top with both cheeses, covering the pot until the cheese is melted, a minute or two.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, as desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Before adding your ground beef (or any ground meat, for that matter) to the skillet, be sure the skillet is very nicely hot, over medium high heat. When the ground beef hits the hot skillet, it browns off, caramelizing the meat to give it a nice sear on the outside, adding great flavor.
  • I often substitute ground venison in this Fiesta Skillet because we’ve always got a freezer full. You could also substitute ground bison, ground turkey, or ground chicken, too.
  • There may seem to be excess liquid in the skillet when you make this pasta.  As the pasta sits, it will absorb that mixture, keeping it nice and creamy. 
  • This pasta is great as leftovers. Sometimes you may need to add a little chicken broth or some salsa to moisten it up a bit before popping it into the microwave.
  • This skillet meal would definitely be delicious if you added chili beans or pinto beans. This would also help your meal go further, making it even more budget friendly!

We love hearing from our readers and followers, so leave us a comment if you’d like.  If you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment.  Feel free to reach out to us by email:  ChefAlli@ChefAlli.com.

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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