Cowboy Pasta

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Sometimes I just ask my hubs to pick one ingredient to inspire me for dinner ideas. This was one of those times. I had already settled on a pasta dish but I couldn’t decide which direction to go other than that I didn’t want red sauce. So I asked and he delivered Ground Beef. The gears started turning and Cowboy Pasta was the tasty tasty result. A homemade Mac & Cheese loaded up with beef, bacon, jalapenos, tomatoes and corn!

Cowboy Pasta

If you want to kick up the heat a little more you could do a couple of different things. You could use the larger can of diced jalapenos. You could add red pepper flakes to the ground beef when you add the cumin and chili powder. Or you could serve it with some pickled jalapenos on top. On the other hand, if you want to dial it down a little, you could swap out the jalapenos for green chilies.

Cowboy Pasta

This is a seriously hearty dish, so sides are really not needed. My boys all went back for seconds and there were no complaints about it not being enough food. As always, if you are stretching this for more people or trying to make leftovers a green salad or other green veggie like steamed broccoli would be a great accompaniment.

Cowboy Pasta

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!


Cowboy Pasta

A homemade Mac & Cheese loaded up with beef, bacon, jalapenos, tomatoes and corn!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Tex-Mex
Keyword cheese, corn, ground beef, ground beef recipes, jalapeno, mac & cheese, Pasta, pasta dishes, tomato
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • lb Ground Beef
  • ½ Red Onion diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can Sweet Corn drained
  • lb Short Pasta shells, rotini, elbows
  • ½ lb Bacon cut into ½ inch pieces

For the Cheese Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 4oz can Diced Jalapenos
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded.


  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta.
  • In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy then remove to paper towel covered plate.
  • In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add oil, onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes then add ground beef, cumin and chili powder. Crumble and cook until no longer pink. Add tomatoes and corn, then reduce heat to low.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed on package. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking. Return to pot, away from heat.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter and garlic powder. Once melted, whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes then whisk in chicken broth. Cook for 2 minutes then whisk in heavy cream. Cook for 2 minutes then add jalapenos and cheese. Continue to stir until fully melted and combined.
  • Add bacon, meat mixture and cheese sauce to pasta in pot and stir to combine.

Custom Instacart Shopping List for this Recipe

Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:


Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:


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10 thoughts on “Cowboy Pasta

  1. Irene – Southern Ontario, Canada – Mexican born with Japanese background living in Canada who loves science, cooking and gardening
    Irene says:

    Sounds very comforting and easy to put together!

  2. We will really enjoy your cowboy pasta, pure comfort! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday, 559 this week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. This was so good. Makes a lot. I didn’t read the serving size and it was just me and hubby tonight.
    Does this freeze good or is that not a good idea?

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! If you put it in an airtight container once it is completely cooled (to avoid condensation that will make ice crystals), you should be totally fine to freeze it.

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