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Tex-Mex Orecchietta Pasta

A one pan dinner with all the big flavors of Tex-Mex. It will satisfy the pasta lovers and the taco lovers at your table.


One of my favorite pasta shapes is Orecchietta.  I don’t really care to spell it, but I love to cook with it!  It’s so cute, like a little button, and it grabs on to the ingredients in any dish like a little plunger.  Sorry here I go with the potty talk right off the bat……

Such an appetizing dinner table discussion.  Plungers.

What does your family talk about at the dinner table?  

Our dinner conversation always lands on the toilet at some point, or some horrific story that Ken has brought home from the E.R.  Recently that would be hands being blown off by fireworks.  MMhmmm real life lessons here folks….

So you know we love ourselves some Mexican fare around here, and we also love ourselves some pasta so I decided to mix the two together and this is what I got.  It was gobbled up happily by all, so I thought that made it well worth sharing! (pssst  It’s super easy came together in less than 30 minutes!)


Brown your meat, it can be ground beef, turkey, or chicken….pick your poison. Add in peppers and onion and saute until they are tender.


Next  add in the El Pato sauce, this can be found in the international section of your grocery store.  El Pato is life changing, buy a case of it!    You can also toss in the spices at this time, let simmer while you cook and drain the orrichesty pasta…er um orchidchestia pasta, ummm-er I mean a sheesh call it what you like! Actually you could use any type of pasty you have on hand, I just happen to like this pasta for its plunger qualities.


 Say hello to Mr. P.P. (a.k.a. plunger pasta).


When pasta is done, al dente’,  add it to the sauce with the beans and corn, and some cheese, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes to melt the cheese and serve with your favorite condiments.


Mine is guacamole and sour cream!

Are you able to get your family around the dinner table this summer….or has life careened out of control for you?  Getting around the dinner table doesn’t mean it has to be the table in your home, it can be pizza at a picnic table in a park, or on a blanket at the beach….get creative!


I personally think this pasta dish would be great for a potluck picnic!  Do you have a favorite pasta dish that you bring to potluck dinners?

Have a great day!

much love, Sheila

Tex-Mex Orechietta Pasta

All the Tex-mex taste paired with a cheesy pasta dish.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound Orecchietta Pasta cooked al dente
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Red Pepper cored and diced
  • 1 Green Pepper cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup Onion diced
  • 1 7 ounce can El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco
  • 14 ounce can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Chile Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1 can Corn drained
  • 1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • P


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook pasta al dente, set aside.
  • Brown ground beef with onion, and peppers. Add in diced tomatoes, El Pato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Combine ground beef mixture with pasta, beans, corn, and 1 cup cheese. Taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Keep in pan if it’s oven safe, if not transfer pasta to a casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Serve with pica de gallo, sour cream, guacamole.
Keyword cheese, ground beef, Mexican, pasta, taco
Tried this recipe?Mention @eat2gather or tag #eat2gather!

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  1. I made this last night….YUMMO! The family loved it! It will be added to the rotation for sure!

    1. Mary, I had this discussion with another reader today, here’s what I suggested she do replace the El Pato with canned enchilada sauce, and the diced tomatoes with rotel tomatoes. She made it this way for her family tonight and said it turned out wonderful…they gobbled it right up! Hope this helps. Sheila

    1. Ha, maybe we can do a little puppet show together with our orecchietta guys next time we meet! oxox Sheila

    1. HA! well I’m glad I didn’t ruin your appetite ; ) welcome to my table! xoxo hope you are well! Sheila