This Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet has hamburger, spaghetti noodles, and taco seasonings, making a perfect weeknight meal everyone will love.
Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet Recipe
You don’t need Mexican take-out when a big skillet of this Ground Beef and Noodle Fiesta Skillet is on the stove.
I don’t know about you, but I like cooking dishes that I know my family is going to scarf right down, and anything with ground beef, noodles, and the flavors of Mexican fiesta will leave behind an empty pan.
We love Mexican everything in this house, that’s for certain.
Whenever we have friends over for a meal, they always seem to love these Southwest Sloppy Joes. I usually served as a dip with tortilla chips or as sliders.
And my Tex Mex Chicken Cornbread Casserole, too.
How to Make Fiesta Ground Beef and Noodle Skillet in 5 Simple Steps
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and taco seasoning together. Then drain any fats that accumulate in the skillet.
Add the tomato paste to the cooked ground beef. Let it cook with the beef in the skillet for a minute or so. This gives the tomato paste a deep, rich flavor.
Now add the diced tomatoes with green chilies and their juices, the chicken broth, and the spaghetti.
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 for a minute or so until the cheese is nicely melted.
Garnish the fiesta skillet with the tomatoes and cilantro. Serve at once garnished with sour cream and crushed tortilla chips, as desired.
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?
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 caramelizes the meat to give it a nice sear on the outside. This adds a lot of great flavor.
Can I use other types of ground meat in this recipe instead of the hamburger?
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 pork, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
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.
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 pasta will also absorb more liquid as they rest, so you may add more broth.
I’ve noticed that when I’m substituting pasta other than spaghetti or angel hair, this dish isn’t as creamy in texture. I prefer using the angel hair pasta, if possible!
It seems like there is a lot of liquid in the skillet after adding the tomatoes and broth.
This is because 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. The skillet meal will still be nice and moist instead of a bunch of dried-out pasta.
Does this Mexican pasta reheat well?
We love it as leftovers. Sometimes, you may need to add a little chicken broth or some salsa to moisten it. Then simply pop it into the microwave.
Can I add chili beans or pinto beans?
Excellent idea – it would be delicious and 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 stovetop to oven to grill.
It’s super versatile! And, because cast iron holds heat well, it’s great for serving dinner at the table family-style.
Which 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 Meals To Try
- Mac and Cheese Spaghetti
- Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti
- SKILLET-BAKED ZUCCHINI LASAGNA ROLL-UPS
- ONE-SKILLET MEAT LOVERS PIZZA GNOCCHI
- SOUTHWEST SLOPPY JOES
- SOUTHWEST PORK CUTLETS WITH CALICO RICE
Ground Beef and Noodle Fiesta Skillet
- 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
- 4 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- Bring the mixture to a boil; cover the skillet, reducing the heat; simmer until the noodles are cooked and tender, approx. 15 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and top with both cheeses, covering the pot until the cheese is melted, a minute or two.
- Serve immediately, garnished with the diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, as desired.
- 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!