Cheesy Enchilada Pasta


Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

Merry Christmas! I hope this post finds you eating some delicious treats and spending time with loved ones. This may seem like an odd post for Christmas, but I think all food is perfect during the holidays. One of the most comforting foods, to me, is pasta.  Pasta is one of my favorite foods. I especially love it in casseroles when it is melty and cheesy. This recipe does just that!

I haven’t combined the idea of enchiladas with pasta before. I am so happy I came across this recipe. It has all the flavors of enchiladas but with pasta instead of tortillas. It all bakes together to become a delicious, saucy casserole dish. It is slightly spicy, cheesy, and hearty. I love this recipe. It is very easy to do, and it’s low calorie. If you want to try a different spin on enchiladas, I highly recommend this recipe. Samuel went back for seconds, so I know this one is a keeper.

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

The first step in this recipe is to cook your pasta. I used rotini in this recipe, but you can use penne or any shorter pasta noodle. Add some salt to your water and bring it to a boil. Cook your noodles for about 6 minutes, or a little over half of the suggested cooking time on the box of pasta. You will want to cook your pasta al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so it’s important not to over cook the pasta in the water. Strain the pasta and set it aside for now.

Next, make a roux. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the margarine and melt it. Once it has melted, add in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep stirring the flour occasionally. The flour taste will cook out of the margarine, and it will turn a nice golden brown.

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

Once you have your roux, pour the enchilada sauce into the skillet. Whisk until the sauce is thick and bubbly. This could take a little time, but just keep whisking. If you notice the roux is breaking apart into chunks, don’t worry. It will eventually come together. Add the cream cheese to the bubbling sauce. Stir until the cream cheese is completely incorporated into the sauce

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

Add the diced red pepper, green onion, and cooked pasta into the skillet. Stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. 

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

After everything is well combined, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the cheese on top. I used extra sharp white cheddar, but a Mexican blend cheese would also be delicious. Feel free to use whatever cheese you would enjoy with enchiladas. Bake the pasta for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Cheesy Enchilada Pasta | jollycrumbs.com

This is one tasty dish. I love enchiladas, and I love pasta. This is the perfect combination of the two. It is creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy. It has all the heartiness of a pasta dish but the flavors of enchiladas. I really love this dish. It’s very flavorful and filling. You can make this as spicy as you would like to, and you can add in additional things if you’d like. You can add hot sauce, more peppers, meat, or anything you’d like. This recipe is wonderful, and if you like enchiladas you will love this!


Cheesy Enchilada Pasta
Total calories: 2,662
Servings: 8-10

 Ingredients:

  • 1lb penne, rotini, or other short pasta
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp lite margarine
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 28 oz enchilada sauce, mild or hot
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups extra sharp white cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13×9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta for about 6 minutes, or a little over half of the suggested cooking time. You will want it al dente since it will continue cooking in the oven. Strain the pasta when done and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the margarine and melt. Once it has melted, add the flour and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the enchilada sauce into the skillet and whisk until thick and bubbly. Add the cream cheese and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Add in the red pepper, green onions, and pasta into the skillet. Stir until everything is coated with the sauce.
  6. Pour everything into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Helpful tips:
Make sure you use the largest skillet you have to make this. If you don’t have a large  skillet, I recommend using the pot you boil your pasta in.

Ingredient substitutions:
3 tbsp butter for 3 tbsp lite margarine
4 oz regular cream cheese for 4 oz fat free cream cheese
You can add cooked chicken breasts or ground beef to this, just make sure you cook your meat before, and then add it to the pasta to bake.

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