Easy Stovetop Enchilada Mac and Cheese is kid friendly and adult approved! Have a cheesy, flavorful dinner in 30 minutes with this enchilada pasta!
Why this recipe works
Enchiladas and Macaroni & Cheese are two of my kids all-time favorite dinners. While planning out dinners for the upcoming week, I decided to try combining the flavors we love from beef enchiladas with a creamy mac and cheese pasta.
This Beef Enchilada Mac and Cheese received rave reviews from everyone in my family! Flavorful ground beef with Mexican spices mixed with a cheesy bowl of pasta makes for a fantastic kid-approved meal.
Remember when your mom would reach for a box of hamburger helper to make a fast dinner?
This enchilada pasta recipe is just as easy as those meals I remember from childhood but made with fresher ingredients that deliver a much better flavor. Think of this is a slightly more sophisticated take on those comforting macaroni and hamburger meals from your childhood.
Enchilada mac and cheese is filled with real cream, real cheese and real taste!
Today’s recipe is a perfect dinner idea. I used lean ground beef, but ground turkey (or even shredded chicken breast) would be delicious too! Chicken Enchilada Mac and Cheese is equally tasty.
While I’ll never turn down a baked macaroni and cheese, this macaroni is made on the stovetop in under 30 minutes using a few simple ingredients.
Here’s what you need for beef enchilada pasta:
- Cooked ground beef
- Heavy cream
- Cooked pasta shells
- Red enchilada sauce
- Cumin and kosher salt
How to Make Enchilada Mac and Cheese
STEP 1. In a large pot (or saucepan), heat cream, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt on medium heat. Whisking often, heat until mixture just begins to bubble.
STEP 2. Reduce heat to medium low and add in cheese. Stir until smooth. Mix in the cooked ground beef and the cooked noodles.
Serve hot and ENJOY!
Tips and Tricks
- This is a great use for any leftover ground beef you have in the fridge from taco night. If you have the pasta and ground beef ready to go, the enchilada mac and cheese is ready in just about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if you have to cook ground beef just for this recipe, it adds just a couple minutes of extra time and it’s well worth it!
- We really like using shell pasta for our macaroni and cheese. Feel free to use any kind of pasta noodles you have on hand. Elbow macaroni, penne and bow tie pasta are all great options.
- If you want to add a little more color to this dish, feel free to throw in some chopped bell peppers or other veggies you like in your mac and cheese. (Creamy pasta is always a perfect vehicle for sneaking a few more veggies onto your kids plates.)
- I’ve used both jarred enchilada sauce and Homemade Red Enchilada sauce for this recipe. Both are equally tasty!
- Leftover enchilada pasta keep well for a few days covered in the fridge. I love making a double batch of this and sticking leftovers in tupperware containers for easy reheating throughout the week.
Enchilada pasta is a full flavorful meal on its own, using minimal equipment and ingredients (not to mention the no fuss clean up). It hardly gets any quicker or easier to get a homemade meal on the dinner table!
More Easy Dinner Ideas
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Broccoli and Cheese Soup
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Grape Jelly Meatballs
- PF Changs Lettuce Wraps
With ingredients you probably already have on hand in your fridge, this enchilada pasta recipe is a delicious answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?”