Mexican Penne Casserole

by Erin

Change up your weeknight casserole routine with this Mexican penne casserole with two kinds of cheese.


I know last month for the Secret Recipe Club I shared a cheesy noodle casserole recipe, but I didn’t hear any complaints when I decided to make this Mexican penne casserole from Andrea’s blog, Adventures In All Things Food. I also considered her chocolate hazelnut oat meal cream pie footballs and once cranberries appear in my grocery store I’m gonna make her orange poppy seed waffles with cranberry-orange syrup.


I served this on Friday when family came into town for the weekend and was much appreciated after their long drive. Not that it’s really all that surprising, it’s casserole season after all! In here you have penne, beef (and I mixed in chorizo), two kinds of cheese, died tomatoes and green chiles, cream of chicken soup, and the surprise ingredient – sundried tomato pesto. Thanks for the great recipe Andrea!


One year ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Cups

Two years ago: White Bean and Pumpkin Hummus with Spiced Pita Chips

Three years ago: Gluten-Free Apple Butter Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Four years ago: Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

Five years ago: Pesto Burgers


Serves 8


1 lb. penne pasta

1 lb. ground beef (i used half beef hald chorizo)

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles

2 Tbsp. sun dried tomato pesto

1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 cups crumbled Cotija cheese

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Chili powder, for dusting

4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts divided

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start a large pot of water boiling. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a high-sided skillet, brown the ground beef. Add in the soup, Ro*Tel, sun dried tomato pesto, parsley and the whites of the green onions. Season to taste. Warm through and set aside.
  3. Boil the pasta just a minute short of al dente (it will finish cooking in the oven). Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Pour half the mixture into a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Top with the crumbled cotija cheese and then add the remaining pasta mixture. Top cheddar and a dusting of chili powder.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbly.
  5. Serve garnished with green onions.

Source: Adventures in all things food.


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Susan October 13, 2016 - 8:58 pm

Thanks, Erin. I don’t buy pesto and don’t make it any more, either. I appreciate the education. :-)

Susan October 13, 2016 - 8:50 pm

This sounds quite intriguing. But I have no clue where to find sun dried tomato pesto in my grocery store (if it’s even there). Is it critical to the recipe?

spiffycookie October 13, 2016 - 8:56 pm

I would think it would be right next to the regular pesto, in the pasta sauce aisle. But if not I’d just add some more tomato paste.

Sid October 10, 2016 - 1:56 pm

I’m thinking I have to make this for one of the many potlucks we go to, that way I won’t eat it all myself. Great choice.

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious October 9, 2016 - 8:08 pm

This looks like a fantastic family meal. Great SRC recipe!

Katie Zeller October 4, 2016 - 2:51 pm

Green chilies – yum. I don’t like the hotter capsicums, but I love those. Great casserole, perfect now the the weather is getting cooler.

Karen Burns-Booth October 4, 2016 - 4:29 am

What a GREAT recipe idea Erin and perfect for busy mid-week meals! I love it, and your photos are amazing too! Karen

Trisha October 4, 2016 - 1:23 am

Not casserole season here, but I can see why this dish was a hit. It sounds delicious.

Anna October 3, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Yum, I know my husband would love this casserole!

Karen October 3, 2016 - 3:52 pm

Oh good heavens this looks so tasty! Your guests must have been so happy! It looks so rich and delicious!

Emily @ Life on Food October 3, 2016 - 2:21 pm

Pasta bakes always make me so happy, especially now that it is cooler out. I am intrigued by the sun dried tomato pesto. Will be saving for later.

SallyBR October 3, 2016 - 12:17 pm

Chorizo is that type of ingredient that makes a huge difference in any recipe!

This casserole made my mouth water, it’s almost lunchtime here, but unfortunately the leftovers waiting for me at home look nothing like your concoction! ;-)

Andrea Kruse October 3, 2016 - 8:42 am

Love the addition of chorizo here! Thank you for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed stopping by this month. I always love your spin on recipes. :)


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