Rotel Pasta

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Whip up this 30 minute Rotel Pasta recipe that the whole family will love. With ground beef, Rotel tomatoes, pasta and cheese. It’s a great recipe for busy weeknights.

If you love skillet dinners with pasta, ground beef and a little spicy kick, this Rotel Pasta recipe is the next recipe you should try. It’s the perfect budget-friendly dinner when you’re tired of the same pasta recipes. 

This recipe is only mildly spicy, but we’ll share tips on how to add some heat if your family likes spicy foods. This penne pasta with creamy sauce will quickly become one of your favorites!

rotel pasta with cheddar cheese in a skillet

Ingredients

ingredients for rotel pasta on a table

A few notes on the ingredients:

  • Penne pasta. There are many types of pasta you can use. Choose your favorite shape and cook pasta according to the package directions.
  • Ground beef. Choose a lean ground beef for this recipe. Or you can substitute with ground turkey, chicken, or Italian sausage.
  • Worcestershire sauce. If you don’t have this ingredient, substitute soy sauce.
  • Can of Rotel tomatoes. Mild Rotel or extra spicy, whichever you’d like!
  • Cheddar cheese. Buy block of cheese and shred it fresh. It melts beautifully!

✨ See the recipe card for the full list of ingredients. ✨

How to Make Rotel Pasta

To get started, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the meat sauce in 4 steps. 

collage of how to make rotel pasta
  • In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and onions are tender. Drain if necessary.
  • Mix in the Rotel tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic salt, and smoked paprika. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or unNl slightly thickened.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the heavy cream and cream cheese until well combined and smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt into the pasta.

Need to keep this warm?

If you prefer oven baked casseroles over skillet dinners, you can adapt this recipe to be baked in a casserole dish. Prepare the recipe as it states, then pour into a greased 9×13″ baking pan. Sprinkle additional shredded cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.

This is also a great method for doubling the recipe if you have a large family.

You may also love our taco pasta salad.

Make it spicier.

Not quite spicy enough for you? Try one of these ideas next time to make it spicier:

  • Use hot Italian sausage in place of the ground beef.
  • Add diced jalapeño peppers.
  • The Rotel brand tomatoes includes green chiles, but add an additional can of drained green chiles.
  • Shred pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar cheese. Or use a combination of both.

Recipe Variations

  • Use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of the ground beef. Sauté and cut into bite size pieces. Or use rotisserie chicken which makes a delicious Rotel chicken pasta.
  • For more cheesy goodness, add about 8 ounces of Velveeta cheese in place of the heavy whipped cream and cream cheese.
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Make it a Meal.

This easy pasta recipe is delicious with garlic bread and a caesar salad. You can also add some steamed veggies if you’d like.

Storage Instructions

Any leftover Rotel Pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best consumed within 3 to 4 days for optimal freshness and flavor. 

Before reheating, you may need to add a small amount of water or broth to loosen the sauce, as it can thicken when chilled. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until it’s thoroughly warmed. 

For longer storage, Rotel Pasta can be frozen in a freezer safe container or Ziploc freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

overhead view of a plate of rotel pasta
overhead view of a plate of rotel pasta

Rotel Pasta

5 from 6 votes
Whip up this 30 minute Rotel Pasta recipe that the whole family will love. With ground beef, Rotel tomatoes, pasta and cheese. It's a great recipe for busy weeknights.
Servings 5
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 8 ounces penne pasta uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies 10 ounces
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh cilantro or parsley chopped, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and onions are tender. Drain if necessary.
  • Mix in the Rotel tomatoes, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic salt, and smoked paprika. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the heavy whipping cream and cream cheese until well combined and smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and let it melt into the pasta.
  • Serve the pasta garnished with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Notes

Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 5, with 1 serving being ⅕ of the pasta. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 788mg | Potassium: 745mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 4mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 466
Keyword easy pasta recipe, ground beef recipe, rotel pasta recipe
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Stephanie
4 months ago

5 stars
I am always looking for new recipes for easy dinners. I am going to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing.