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Southwest Pasta Bake

Rated as 4.14 out of 5 Stars

"Fat-free cream cheese and reduced-fat cheddar make this creamy casserole lower in fat and calories. It's a good way to get our kids to eat spinach in 'disguise'. --Carol Lepak of Sheboygan, Wisconsin"
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Ingredients

45 m servings
Original recipe yields 8 servings

Directions

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  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add milk; beat until smooth. stir in spinach and oregano; set aside. In a nonstick skillet, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; 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.
  2. In a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray, layer half of the meat mixture and all of the spinach mixture. Top with remaining meat mixture. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F 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.

Footnotes

  • Nutritional Analysis: One serving (1 cup) equals 333 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 996 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 26 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 3 vegetable, 1-1/2 starch.

Reviews

Read all reviews 29
  1. 35 Ratings

  2.  
    Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
  3.  
    Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 3 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 2 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

I would give this 4 1/2 stars. It was good. LIke the reviews said, good way to hide spinach. I would call it Mexican Lasagna. It was good.

Most helpful critical review

Made as written, this is really blah. I ended up adding way more seasoning to the meat mixture - more garlic, cumin, some onion powder, and a heaped tbsp of Chipotle Pepper powder. This turned o...

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I would give this 4 1/2 stars. It was good. LIke the reviews said, good way to hide spinach. I would call it Mexican Lasagna. It was good.

My husband was gushing with compliments when I made this for dinner last night. I made a few slight alterations, I used a 13 oz box of Rotini, added half an onion while my meat was browning, and...

I really like this recipe and have made it several times; it's pretty much a Mexican ziti. I think that a full package of cream cheese is too much, it ends up taking over the dish. Perhaps that ...

Pretty darn good! Family didn't like it as much but I thought it was great! I think it was the spinach they didn't like much plus I used whole wheat penne. ;) I did add red, yellow and orang...

Followed recipe and it was a little bland for a "Southwest" dish. Next time I think I will replace the spinach with green chili to give it more flavor.

This recipe was absolutely delicious! It even satisfied my finicky little brother. Of course I did add a few touches of my own. First of all, I didn't add the tomato sauce, or the entire can of ...

This was pretty tasty! I'm not much of a recipe girl, so of course I fudged the ingredients a little. I used tomato paste, diced tomatoes and less salsa than called for because that's all I ha...

Made as written, this is really blah. I ended up adding way more seasoning to the meat mixture - more garlic, cumin, some onion powder, and a heaped tbsp of Chipotle Pepper powder. This turned o...

This recipe is very good as a base. I added lots of other ingredients. I omitted the tomato sauce and added extra picante. I added a can of chili beans with the liquid. I used macaroni noodles s...