Easy 30-Minute Southwestern Beef Skillet

Easy 30-Minute Southwestern Beef Skillet – EASY, family friendly, ready in 30 minutes, and COMFORT FOOD at its best!! Ground beef, PASTA, black beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and CHEESE for a Southwestern flair!!

This easy, family friendly, skillet dinner is ready in 30 minutes and is comfort food at its best.

Ground beef is mixed with small pasta shells, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, green onions, taco seasoning, and topped with melted cheese and cilantro for a Southwestern-inspired dish.

I melted the cheese by way of the broiler because there is nothing like the texture and flavor of baked or broiled cheese.

I used small shells but you can use medium shells, small elbow, rotini, bowtie, or your favorite small pasta.

We thought the heat level of the dish as a whole was on the mild side and I used medium heat taco seasoning and fire-roasted green chiles. If you’re very sensitive to heat or serving this to little ones, you may want to use mild versions of those ingredients and omit the sliced jalapeno.

The Southwestern skillet reminds me of One Skillet Beef Taco Pasta and Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese because it uses many of the same ingredients and has a similar flavor profile.

And of course there’s that cheese.

Yield: serves 8 to 10

Easy 30-Minute Southwestern Beef Skillet

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Easy 30-Minute Southwestern Beef Skillet - EASY, family friendly, ready in 30 minutes, and COMFORT FOOD at its best!! Ground beef, pasta, black beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and CHEESE for a Southwestern flair!!


  • 1/2 pound small-sized pasta shells, cooked according to package directions (medium shells, small elbow, rotini, bowtie, etc. may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 85% lean)
  • 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely pressed or minced
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
  • one 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, do not drain (I use no-salt added)
  • one 4-ounce can diced green chiles, do not drain (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, with 2 tablespoons reserved for garnishing
  • one 1-ounce packet taco seasoning (I used medium heat, reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (grate your own because pre-grated cheese in bags doesn’t melt as well)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into thin rounds for garnishing, optional
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced  for garnishing


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set pasta aside.
  2. Preheat broiler to high.
  3. To a very large oven-safe skillet, add the olive oil, ground beef, onions, and cook over medium-high heat to brown the beef, crumbling it with a spatula as it cooks and stirring frequently to ensure even cooking. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or as necessary until beef is cooked through and onions are soft.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
  5. Add the black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, green onions, taco seasoning, pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the pasta and stir to combine.
  7. Evenly sprinkle with the cheese, optionally add jalapeno slices, and place skillet under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes. If desired, allow cheese to brown slightly, or to taste. Keep a very careful eye on your skillet and the cheese because broilers can burn things in a matter of seconds.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons green onions, cilantro, and serve immediately. Recipe is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 4 months.

Inspired by Easy 30-Minute Taco Macaroni and Cheese and One Skillet Beef Taco Pasta

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g

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