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Mexican Rigatoni

Mexican Rigatoni Recipe

I can never seem to follow a recipe without changing things up. Usually a lot! In fact, by the time I get through with all my additions and subtractions most  of the dishes I end up serving aren’t anything like the recipe I started to make. Take this Mexican Rigatoni for example…

See what I mean? The original recipe for Mexican Rigatoni and Cheese came from one of the many food magazines I always have piled up in my house, but I can’t remember which one (and there is no magazine name on the bottom of the page; otherwise I’d give credit where credit is due). But, as you can tell from all my cat scratching, I changed almost everything up…except the rigatoni (I love me some rigatoni, LOL)!

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is loaded with big, bold Mexican flavors and some really nice textures. These ingredients are probably some you already have in your freezer and pantry so it’s easy to whip together on any given weeknight.  I decided to swap out the chorizo for ground beef because that’s what I had in my freezer and instead of the chopped cilantro for garnish, I substituted chopped green onions because I needed to use the ones I had in the fridge before they spoiled. For some reason, I can never use up my green onions before they go bad on me. Ah well.

I also added a can of fiesta corn for some extra color and texture, a small can of fire roasted chiles (because I just love them, and I always have them in the pantry).  That jar of picante sauce that I had in the back of the pantry added just the right touch for a simple sauce to bring everything together. Stir in a few of my favorite spices and then top with some yummy cheese. Pop it into the oven for about 20 minutes and dinner is served! I think you’re going to love it. We certainly did.

Mexican Rigatoni Recipe

If you’re a regular visitor to my Kudos Kitchen then, you know that I like to “cook big” because we enjoy the leftovers. However, if you don’t want or need to make enough Mexican Rigatoni to feed a small army, simply cut all the ingredient quantities in half and carry on as the recipe states. Just make sure to use a smaller casserole dish, or cut the baking time down by half if you choose to still use a 9×13 pan. Also, because this is a pantry friendly recipe, feel free to swap out whatever kind of dried pasta you have on hand if you don’t have any rigatoni. Trust me, this dish will taste delicious no matter what shape pasta you’re using 🙂

Serves: 8-10      Prep Time: 15 minutes     Bake time: 20 minutes

1 box dried rigatoni pasta
1 lb. ground beef (I used 75% lean)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 can (15.25 ounces) fiesta corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can fire roasted chiles
1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce (I used medium)
1 cup pasta cooking water
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons roasted cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese or shredded cheese of your choosing

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees
-In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions, but cook it 2-3 minutes less than what the package states because it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain and keep warm, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
-While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef, in a large skillet over medium/high heat. While some of the ground beef is still pink, stir in the onion, salt and pepper and continue cooking until all the meat is no longer pink and the onions are softened.
-Add the fiesta corn, fire roasted chiles and black beans into the cooked beef mixture. Stir in the picante sauce, pasta water, chili powder, cumin and coriander.
-Pour the ground beef mixture into the drained pasta and stir well to combine.
-Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and layer half of the beef/pasta mixture into the dish.
-Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the beef/pasta mixture.
-Add another layer of the beef and pasta mixture, and another layer of the cheese to finish.
-Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted.
-Serve hot.
*Note – this dish freezes beautifully so it’s a great one to make in advance and store, and it makes a great dish to bring to a pot luck OR to someone who can use a night (or two) off from cooking.

Here’s a recipe recap for those of you who like to learn by way of pictures (me included)…

Add the drained beans, corn, and fire roasted chiles to the browned ground beef and onions.

Stir in the picante sauce, pasta water and seasonings.

Pour the ground beef mixture over the cooked pasta, and then layer it in the casserole dish along with the shredded cheese and bake.

Top with chopped green onions and serve.

Dinner is served! Dig in 🙂

Don’t you just LOVE pasta dishes? Me too. Here are a few other that I think you’ll really enjoy…

Chicken Penne Pasta with Bacon and Blue Cheese:

Chicken Penne Pasta with Bacon and Blue Cheese Recipe

Christmas Pasta:

Christmas Pasta Recipe

Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta:

Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta Recipe

Greek Pasta with Lamb, Mint and Feta:

Greek Pasta with Lamb, Mint and Feta Recipe

Rigatoni with Meat Sauce:

Rigatoni with Meat Sauce Recipe

See? I told you I love rigatoni….If I’ve left you hungry for even more pasta dishes, click on the “food” link up at the header, and from there click on the “pasta” link where you’ll find even more delicious recipes to choose from…Oh, I’m so full and think I need a nap. LOL

But before I go, how about if I coordinate this pasta recipe with this fun and celebratory wine barrel wine glass? After all, what goes better with a great pasta meal than a wonderful glass of wine?

Happy Birthday Wine Barrel Painted Wine Glass
If there is ever anything I can paint for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my shop which is located within the navigation bar. Custom orders are always welcome and I can work from any photo or description you send my way. Each glass comes in its own gift box and personalization is always free of charge.
Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art and fun collide on a regular basis!

Thanks for visiting me in my Kudos Kitchen. I appreciate the visit!
Until we eat again,

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Tuesday 19th of August 2014

I imagine this is a serious kid-pleaser!


Tuesday 19th of August 2014

I like the Mexican spin on this dish!!!


Tuesday 19th of August 2014

Wow Renee, another fantastic recipe. Love the changes

Souffle Bombay

Tuesday 19th of August 2014

Sounds & looks scrumptious - I love when I come across recipes scribbled all over from my grandmothers or mom. Must be where I got it from as well - its like it tells a story :)

Savory Experiments

Tuesday 19th of August 2014

My two favorite things! Pasta and Mexican food, I can't wait to try this!