This recipe came together because I wanted to make Baked Spaghetti and wanted something Mexican… I couldn’t decide… so I combined the two… First, I did a little research about Mexican cheeses and found that ricotta was a substitute for one and parmesan a substitute for another… I decided it could work… and it did… very well, I might add.
It turned out so good, in fact, I would definitely consider making it for a Mexican themed party.. I would change the pasta though… it would work better with a ziti noodle … spaghetti is difficult to eat at parties… I found that out the hard way… but that’s another story… for another time.
This dish is assembled in three parts… the spaghetti… the cheese filling… and the meat sauce. I recommend you make it in three parts… it’s just easier… then assemble the casserole.
When taking the picture below for ingredients… I goofed….I forgot to put butter (or margarine) and shredded cheese in the picture… sorry!
I used my Taco Seasoning recipe…. the recipe makes just a little more than the recommended 3 tablespoons for taco meat… use the complete recipe… . or use a Taco Seasoning packet you buy at the grocery store.
I used a can of Green Giant Southwestern Style Corn… I hadn’t seen it before… I don’t know if it’s something new or just new to us… but I like it.. it has corn, black beans, onions and red peppers in it…. if for some reason you can’t find it… you can substitute Mexicorn by Green Giant.
I used a Mexican cheese blend that I found in the grocery store… you can use that or a Colby-Jack blend… or cheddar…. I wouldn’t recommend you use the cheese blends that have seasoning mixed with it… this recipe has enough seasoning on its own.
I used red pepper, green pepper and yellow pepper… the colors made the dish look awesome… and we like the taste variations between the peppers… if you need to substitute and use only one kind of pepper … use red pepper… it has a milder flavor than green pepper… or use a combination of two kinds… just make sure the total you use equals ¾ cup.
To serve it.. allow it to stand for about 5 minutes after coming out of the oven… then, using a sharp knife, cut it into squares and scoop out the squares with a spatula.
This recipe will make a large 13x9 casserole… it’s hearty… and will make about 6-8 servings… if you need less… cut the recipe back… or enjoy leftovers.
I served it with a small salad.
I hope you try this … it’s simply delicious!
Recipe: Baked Spaghetti – Fiesta Style
All you need:
For the Cheese Filling:
1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 can mild green chilies
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Fiesta Blend or cheddar cheese
For the Meat Sauce:
1 lb. lean ground beef
¼ cup chopped green pepper
¼ cup chopped red pepper
¼ cup chopped yellow pepper
1 medium onion finely chopped
Taco Seasoning (my recipe) or 1 store bought seasoning packet
2/3 cup water
1 can (11 oz.) Green Giant Southwestern Style Corn
1 can (10 0z.) Rotel Mild Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
For the Remaining Ingredients:
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked al dente according to package directions
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups shredded Fiesta Blend or cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
All you need to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain. Allow pot to cool so you can mix the pasta with other ingredients in it. (saves on clean-up time)
Mix the cheese filling ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat.
After about 5 minutes of cooking the beef, add the onions and peppers. Cook until beef is cooked and onions are translucent. Drain and return the beef and peppers and onions to the skillet.
Add the Taco Seasoning and water. Stir well. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes and canned corn and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small measuring cup in the microwave.
Put the spaghetti back into the pot and add the melted butter, toss to evenly distribute the butter.
Add the ½ cup parmesan cheese and toss to evenly distribute the cheese.
Add the meat sauce and stir well to evenly distribute the meat sauce throughout the spaghetti.
Spread half the spaghetti mixture in a 13x9 baking dish.
Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the spaghetti.
Sprinkle ½ cup of shredded Fiesta Blend cheese over the ricotta.
Spread the remaining spaghetti mixture over the shredded cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top.
OPTIONAL: Sprinkle chopped green onions over the cheese.
Cover loosely with foil.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has melted.
Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
To serve, cut into squares and remove with a spatula.
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