- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
- 1 can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 can (6 ounces) no-salt-added tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in milk. Stir in spinach and oregano; set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the picante sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain pasta; stir into meat mixture.
- In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer half of the meat mixture and all of the spinach mixture. Top with remaining meat mixture.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with olives and onions. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.
Reviews for Southwest Pasta Bake
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"I did not like this recipe at all. I don't think the cream cheese or spinach should be added at all. The flavor combinations were terrible."
"I love this recipe! I do make some changes when I make this. I use 99% fat free turkey instead of beef and low-fat cream cheese instead of fat free. It is delicious and doesn't taste low fat. I highly recommend it!"
"Loved this!! Made it just as shown except for used fat free ground turkey and Barilla whole grain Penne noodles. MMmm good!"
"This is delicious! I used 98% fat free turkey (lower fat than beef) and low-fat cream cheese (more taste than fat-free). My husband and I loved it. I will definitely be making this again. I may also try wheat pasta next time."
"This is yummy, it just takes a while to assemble & prepare.~ Theresa"