One Pan Enchilada Pasta

One of my favorite meals my mother used to make us as a child is enchiladas. I loved how good the house always smelled, the fact that she let me open the cans (yeah, we didn’t always make our own food from scratch), and the flavor! Enchiladas are definitely one of my better childhood memories. Well, I haven’t had enchiladas in FOREVER! So when I saw a recipe for a one pan enchilada pasta on Pinterest, I new what was going to be for dinner that night!

One pan enchilada pasta

To make this one pan enchilada pasta, you only need 30 minutes forethought. Not 1-2 hours like a lot of other from scratch meals. This meal is sounding more and more appealing, isn’t it?!

When I went to go and make it, I had to make a few changes. First off, I had no rotini, so I simply substituted with cellentani. Which is simply another swirly pasta, so it was no biggy. The second change I had to make was with the sauce… I didn’t have any canned enchilada sauce. Seeing a pattern here? I went online to an enchilada sauce recipe I had used and loved before. I whipped up a batch really quick while the meat was browning, because it only takes ten minutes. This is the recipe I used,  if anyone else would like to make there own super delicious ten minute enchilada sauce. I also had to change the original recipe and use some of my homemade taco seasoning, because as I discuss in this post, I really, really don’t like those little packets.

onepan enchilada pasta

The thing I probably loved the most about the this dish was that even though it only takes 30 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes of that time is down time. How awesome is that?! Pretty awesome right? The only real “work” you have to do for this recipe is brown the meat with the onions and garlic. Come on! How easy is that? So easy!

And the flavor? Perfection. Simple perfection.

one pan enchilada pasta2

Once the meal was complete and on the table, my family was very exited to have anything enchilada-ish after not having them in so long. It brought back memories for everybody, and the rest of the night we were reliving our childhood memories together again. One pan enchilada pasta is definitely a new favorite to make new memories with. Maybe one day, years from now, when someone makes real enchiladas for everyone, we can remember all the good time we had with our one pan enchilada pasta. The thought makes me smile, because we as a family are not perfect. Far from it actually, but we can still manage to come together at our table of ten and make memories. Good ones worth remembering! Sometimes when the days get busy and cooking from scratch seems like a burden, it all becomes worth it when we sit down for dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

One Pan Enchilada Pasta


  • 2 Tbs. Butter or Bacon Fat
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a small onion, diced
  • 1.25 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 19oz can of red enchilada sauce
  • 8oz (about 2 1/2 cups) of dried rotini pasta
  • 2 cups of freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese, mozzarella, or Parmesan
  • green onions
  • black olives
  • sour cream


  • In a large skillet or sauté pan, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil over medium low heat until softened.
  • Add ground turkey meat and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon until browned.
  • Once turkey meat is cooked through, add pasta, chicken broth and enchilada sauce to pan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduced heat to low and cover.
  • Cook on low, with pan covered for about 15 minutes.
  • Then remove lid and let simmer for additional 5 minutes until pasta is tender and sauce has reduced.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese.
  • Top pasta with additional cup of cheese and melt under broiler for a minute or tow, or place lid back on pan and let heat from the pasta melt the cheese.
  • Garnish with black olives and green onions.

30 Thoughts on “One Pan Enchilada Pasta

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  2. Nothing beats a one pan dinner like this! I love how much flavor you achieve here. YUM!!!

  3. This is going on my menu. I love a new quick meal.

  4. That looks so yum! It’s like a Mexican twist on beef-a-roni. Cool recipe!

  5. Looks tasty! I love the one-pan recipe!

  6. One pan dinners are always good and this sounds tasty!

  7. What a delicious and full flavored pasta dish! Yum!

  8. We are all big Mexican food fans here, so I am pretty sure this would be a big hit at our house! I always make my own enchilada sauce too…so much better than canned!

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