Mexican Pasta Casserole

Makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. rigatoni, ziti or other medium pasta shape
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and julienned
  • 1/4 c. ripe olives, chopped
  • 1 c. (4 oz.) Queso Quesadilla, Monterey Jack or Jalapeño Havarti Cheese, shredded and divided

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder and stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and liquid, cumin, and oregano. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

When pasta is done, drain well. In bowl, combine pasta, chicken, olives, 3/4 cup cheese and sauce. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish lightly sprayed with vegetable oil. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover loosely with foil and bake until warmed through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.