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Alea’s Southwest Pasta Skillet

This quick and easy recipe was inspired by mushy salad greens. I had plans to make taco salad and had already started browning the hamburger when I pulled the lettuce out of the refrigerator and discovered it had turned. I didn’t have a lot of time to come up with a new dinner plan. I surveyed the cupboards and fridge and decided to use the beans and tomatoes  that I was going to put in the salad, stick with taco seasonings and add corn and pasta. Then I said a quick prayer that it would turn out and my family would like it. It turned out well and my family loved it. It is now on my mental list of meals for busy nights because I can make it start to finish in about 15 minutes.

Really short on time? Then don’t peel your tomatoes when you dice them! The tomato peels have nutrients and fiber, so you can feel good about being lazy. 🙂 I grown roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds than other varieties, so I don’t bother removing the seeds either. Can you see the tomato seeds in the bowl of pasta? Neither can my children. 😉

I added all of the ingredients to my large skillet after I browned the hamburger. If you don’t have a large skillet, then after you rinse your pasta, return it to the pot you cooked it in and add all of the ingredients to that pot to finish cooking them.

Southwest Pasta Skillet

Yield – 6 servings

Preparation Time –  all prep is done while the pasta is cooking

Cooking Time – 15 minutes


  • 10 oz. rotini pasta (I used brown rice pasta to make this gluten-free)
  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes ( or 1 – 14.5 oz. can, undrained)
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans ( or 1 – 15 oz. can, drained)
  • 1 – 15 oz.  can corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (you can make your own taco seasoning)
  • Optional, shredded cheese for the top


  • Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, brown the hamburger with the onion in a large skillet.
  • Once the meat is browned, add tomatoes, beans, corn, salsa and spices. Cook over low heat until the beans and veggies are heated through.
  • Drain pasta. Add to the meat and bean mixture. Toss thoroughly to combine ingredients.

Serve immediately. You can top with grated cheese if you wish.