Ground beef is one of the best meats to have on hand for a busy family. It cooks up fast, can be used in so many different preparations and it is an excellent source of protein and iron. This next recipes is both a one pot and a done in 30 meal – a double win for weeknight dinners! Queso Pasta has the zesty flavors of queso with ground beef and pasta all cooked in one in just 30minutes!
For this one pot, you want to use a short pasta like elbows or shells (I used shells). You might could go for a rotini or penne but that might require a few more minutes to make sure the pasta is cooked through all the way. I also like to find the pasta that has the ridges on it (not perfectly smoothed) because it holds on to the sauce so much better. Mexican Blend shredded cheese it typically monterey jack, cheddar, asadero and queso cheese. You can use the finely or rustic shredded blends.
You may wonder how this recipe doesn’t have a specific thickening agent added and results in the creamy velvety cheese sauce. It’s the starch from the pasta! By cooking the pasta right in the broth, it releases just enough of the starches to thicken the broth and cream to make for a delicious smooth cheese queso. This recipe also does the best in a wide tall sided saute pan. If you do not have one, a large stock pot would do the job, but the pasta may not cook through quite as evenly.
I used green chilies for this recipe, which was the perfect amount of heat of the whole family to enjoy. If you want to take it up a notch on the heat scale, you could swap out for diced jalapenos (not fresh, but pickled or canned). If you do not like – even petite – chunks of tomatoes, you could just use crushed tomatoes. You don’t want to go full puree, because it will change the texture of the whole dish. You could also put it regular diced tomatoes to, if you really like bigger chunks of tomato.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
- 1 12 inch Saute Pan with lid
- 2 lb Ground Beef
- ½ Medium Yellow Onion diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning see recipe below
- 1 7oz can Green Chilies
- 1 15oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes or crushed
- 1½ lb Short pasta shells or elbows
- 6 cups Beef Broth
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 3 cups Mexican Blend Shredded cheese
- In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add ground beef, onions, garlic and taco seasoning. Cook and crumble for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, green chilies and pasta. Stir to evenly combine. Then add beef broth. Cover with lid and let cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in heavy cream and cheese. Replace lid and let cook for 5 minutes more.
Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
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