Nacho pasta bake - a creamy, spicy, vegetarian Mexican inspired pasta bake topped with tortilla chips and plenty of cheese!

I do wonder what you must think of me sometimes. I put crisps in my sandwiches. I top just about everything with pizza. And now I’m putting tortilla chips on my pasta bake… I think I must just be entirely shameless. But as weird as it may seem, this nacho pizza bake really really works.

Nacho pasta bake - a creamy, spicy, vegetarian Mexican inspired pasta bake topped with tortilla chips and plenty of cheese!

My husband and I absolutely love nachos. Whenever we see them on a menu, we usually get a plate to share, with all the trimmings. But in an effort to make them a bit more appropriate for dinner, I thought I’d use them to top a pasta bake – with plenty of veggies, and black beans, and other more nutritious bits to (kind of?!) counteract the crisps.

I like to tell myself it’s no worse than topping a bake with breadcrumbs…

Nacho pasta bake - a creamy, spicy, vegetarian Mexican inspired pasta bake topped with tortilla chips and plenty of cheese!

The pasta underneath the nachos is coated in a creamy, spicy sauce. I added a bit of grated cheese underneath the nachos, as well as on top, so it melts and gets nice and gooey all through the pasta. If you’re not into the nacho topping, to be honest the pasta would be great on its own as well, just topped with the grated cheese. But… nachos!

By the way, I’m totally kicking myself for not serving my nacho pasta bake with guacamole, sour cream, etc – all my usual nacho toppers. I have no idea why I didn’t think of that until now (is baby brain still a thing when your kid’s 5 months old?). I’d recommend giving that a try, anyway. But this nacho pasta bake is great either way.

Nacho pasta bake - a creamy, spicy, vegetarian Mexican inspired pasta bake topped with tortilla chips and plenty of cheese!

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4.75 from 4 votes

Nacho pasta bake

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 350 g (~ 12oz) pasta
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange)
  • 6 medium mushrooms, diced
  • 260 g (~ 1 1/2 cups) tinned sweetcorn
  • 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp full fat cream cheese
  • 100 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
  • 2 handfuls tortilla chips, slightly broken
  • To serve: guacamole, sour cream, fresh chopped coriander (cilantro)

Instructions

  • Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, then drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the pepper and mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until fairly soft. Add the sweetcorn and black beans, along with the tin of tomatoes, spices, and plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cream cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce.
  • When the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce, and mix well. Transfer to a suitably sized baking dish.
  • Sprinkle over about 2/3 of the grated cheese, and top with the slightly broken tortilla chips. Add the remaining cheese, and bake at 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F) for about 15 minutes, or until the tortilla chips are golden brown and crispy. Serve topped with fresh chopped coriander (cilantro), with guacamole and sour cream on the side.
Author: Becca Heyes

 

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.

If you love a pasta bake as much as I do, try my chickpea bolognese pasta bake, with chickpea ‘mince’:

Chickpea bolognese pasta bake