- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
- 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 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 13x9-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 forSouthwest Pasta Bake
"My family loved this recipe! It was amazing with a dollop of fat-free sour cream on top. I would say this should be called Mexican Lasagna, as the layers were very similar, only with a Mexican flair. It was delicious and so easy to make! I will definitely be making this again. Yum!"
"Delicious! I make this for my family at least 1x a month and never have leftovers."
"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."
"Loved this!! Made it just as shown except for used fat free ground turkey and Barilla whole grain Penne noodles. MMmm good!"
"This is yummy, it just takes a while to assemble & prepare.~ Theresa"
"I used ground turkey with taco seasoning and added a can of Mexican stewed tomatoes though and it was go good. My family is waiting for me to make it again! :D"
"My family loved this recipe. I didn't use the low fat or fat free choices but it turned out great! Even my picky three and four year olds liked it!"
"My family really liked this recipe. The only change I made was using red onion on top instead of green just because I didn't have any. easy to make too."