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This one pan Mexican pasta (Southwestern style) will have you fighting your family for the leftovers. An easy dinner recipe, packed with so much flavor, and done in under 30 minutes!
Step by step photos and instructions below!
I’m a huge fan of pasta, especially when I can pack protein and other goodness into one pot. This quick and easy weeknight winner dinner is on the table fast!
This recipe uses smoked sausage as the main protein, but also includes black beans, tomatoes, chiles, sweet corn, cheddar cheese and cilantro for a really full flavored bowl of yum.
You can buy packaged sausages in a variety of flavors, I like spicy jalapeno sausage for this recipe. Combined with complementary flavors from the southwest, your family will beg for seconds. You can switch the spicy sausage out for ground beef (add some taco seasoning, and make this more of a taco pasta if you wish).
Try my Creamy Sausage Pasta for a similar, but totally different dinner.
Is this really Mexican?
Of course not. It’s Mexican inspired and is probably more Southwestern or Tex-Mex than Mexican. But it’s delicious.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Uses pantry staples that you likely already have.
- This is a great recipe to adapt to whatever you have on hand.
- Done in under 30 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights.
- Budget friendly.
- Family friendly.
What to serve with Mexican Pasta
- Try a fresh green salad, or dump some sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo (or your favorite taco topings) over the top of your plate, and call it good.
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat until piping hot!
You can switch the spicy sausage out for cooked lean ground beef (add some taco seasoning, and make this more of a taco pasta if you wish)
Use kidney beans instead of black beans.
Switch out the white onion for red onion.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Onion. Dice this up finely.
- Seasonings. I use ground cumin, ground coriander, a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh garlic. I sometimes add chili powder if I’m out of seasonings!
- Stock. Any kind of stock you have on hand works, beef stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock are all great.
- Half & Half. This is a half milk, half cream product. You can use heavy cream for a thicker, more decadent result. You can also use a few tablespoons of cream cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream in a pinch.
- Tomatoes. I use fire roasted tomatoes for the smoky taste they add to a dish. Regular canned tomatoes work great though. You can also use tomato sauce (aka tomato puree or passata) if you don’t have diced tomatoes.
- Chiles. I buy the little cans of green chillies at the grocery store. You can also use a couple of cans of Rotel instead of the tomatoes and chiles. Use what you have on hand.
- Pasta. Any short pasta is great in this recipe. I use whatever types of pasta I have on hand, like pasta shells, rotini, bow ties, macaroni, or penne.
Longer pasta shapes like fettuccine and spaghetti noodles aren’t as good with chunkier dishes like this one. Whole wheat pasta is a good option too.
- Black Beans. You can use kidney beans, white beans, or any kind of bean you have in your pantry.
- Corn. Canned corn, or frozen corn work.
- Cheese. Use your favorite! Pepper jack or a Mexican cheese blend are great, but I used cheddar this time.
- Cilantro. Don’t overlook this! Fresh cilantro provides a pretty color, and a pop of fresh flavor. Green onions work if you can’t find cilantro.
- Cutting Board
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Add olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened.
Add the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes (if using) and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about a minute).
Add the sliced sausages, and cook another minute.
Add chicken broth, half and half, tomatoes, chiles, pasta, and seasonings.
Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium heat.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender (al dente). Add the black beans and sweet corn and heat for a few minutes, until beans and corn are warmed through.
Test for seasonings, and adjust as necessary. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt.
Top with chopped cilantro, and serve.
More delicious pasta dinners:
- Skillet Mac & Cheese. Comfort food at its finest, this skillet mac & cheese is so easy! Just the skillet and a pasta pot, the and a quick broil, and this is ready FAST!
- Florentine Chicken Lasagna Rolls Spinach, garlic, and cheese are all winners for this weeknight dinner! Delicious homemade Alfredo sauce is the key to these!
- Ham Tetrazzini. A super-fast weeknight dinner, this Ham Tetrazzini is a spin on the traditional version and is sure to please the whole family.
One Pot Mexican Pasta
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup onion (diced)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 Tbs garlic (minced )
- 12 oz jalapeno flavored sausage (sliced)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup half and half ( or heavy cream)
- 14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 4oz can green chiles (diced )
- 8 oz pasta (rotini)
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (each)
- 15oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 15.25oz can sweet corn (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded )
- 2 Tbs cilantro (chopped, for garnish)
- Add olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook until softened.
- Add the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes (if using) and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about a minute).
- Add the sliced sausages, and cook another minute.
- Add chicken broth, half and half, tomatoes, chiles, pasta, and seasonings.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium heat.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
- Add the black beans and sweet corn and heat for a few minutes, until beans and corn are warmed through.
- Test for seasonings, and adjust as necessary.
- Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt.
- Top with chopped cilantro, and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This recipe was originally published in March of 2016. It was updated and republished in January of 2023.