Watch me make this quick and easy creamy queso pasta recipe from start to finish!

It’s that time of year again when things get super busy in my house. We are all itching to spend as much time outside, and the evening extracurricular activities pick up for the boys.

As much as I love from-scratch meals, now is not the time! With limited time, I really appreciate those meals that come together quickly with as few ingredients as possible.

It’s either that or fast food! 

Thankfully, I’ve got a tried and true stash of quick and easy dinner recipes I turn to, including this queso pasta that I’m sharing with you guys today!

My boys love this meal. I add a side salad and French bread, and dinner is done in less than 30 minutes!

Get’em fed and out of the house is the goal for those busy spring and summer evenings!

quick dinner recipe

Why I LOVE this Queso Pasta

I haven’t met too many pasta, beef, and cheese skillet meals that my family hasn’t loved! This queso pasta certainly fits the bills. It’s loaded with creamy queso, Mexican cheese, seasoned beef, pasta, and spicy Rotel tomatoes.

It is downright delicious! It makes a large skillet full, so there is always room for seconds or leftovers with my family of 4. 

Oh, I didn’t mention that is a super inexpensive meal to pull together. When I made this blog post, I purchased all of the ingredients + 2 bagged salads, and a loaf of French bread for under $17!

quick queso pasta ingredients

Tips on making Queso Pasta

  1. Use a good salsa con queso- Try to find a brand that has simple ingredients that you can pronounce. This will give you the next best thing besides homemade and the best-tasting queso pasta. I like to use Target’s Good & Gather brand. The ingredients list is simple, and it tastes great.
  2. Use a pre-shredded cheese blend- Sure, freshly grated cheeses are wonderful, but the goal of this meal is quick + delicious. I love using Mexican cheese blend.

Just five ingredients!

This queso pasta only requires four ingredients to pull together

  • Pasta- We like spiral pasta, but any pasta, such as penne, elbow macaroni, or bow tie, will do.
  • Ground beef– Ground turkey will work as well
  • Salsa con queso- Use your favorite store-bought brand. I like Target’s Good& Gather brand. Try to use a brand with only ingredients that you pronounce. That will give you a more homemade taste. 
  • Rotel tomatoes (tomatoes & green chiles)- I like to use mild Rotel tomatoes, but if you want it spicier, go for the hot version.
  • Mexican Cheese Blend– You can use any shredded cheddar cheese, but we usually go for the shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend. The finely shredded kind melts down super quickly.
  • Spices- Ok, I’m not counting the spices on the ingredients list since most people already have these in their homes. You can certainly skip the spices, but adding them adds more flavor. For my spices, I use kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder to season my ground beef. And I add a generous sprinkling of parsley to the finished dish for a pop of color.
best queso pasta recipe

How to make Easy Queso Pasta

  1.  Boil pasta according to the package directions in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or deep skillet, over medium heat, add ground beef (season beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder).
  3. Cook beef until done and drain off the fat.
  4. Pour in Rotel tomatoes (undrained) and salsa con queso sauce.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta until coated.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley to garnish.
  8. Once the cheese has melted, plate and serve.
quick queso pasta

Queso Pasta Add-ins & Topping Ideas 

  • Black beans
  • Roasted corn
  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • sauteed onions and garlic
  • jalapenos
  • parmesan cheese
easy dinner idea

Common Questions

Can I bake this queso pasta? Sure, can place the pasta mixture in a baking dish before adding the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until the cheese has melted.

How do I store this dish? Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. To reheat, add a few ounces of milk and microwave or reheat in a skillet.

Can I use reduced-fat and lower-sodium queso? Yes, however, reduced-fat cheese may not melt as well as regular cheese. 

quick queso pasta recipe

Get the Recipe: How To Make Skillet Queso Pasta

5 from 5 ratings
Creamy, cheesy queso pasta! Quick and easy dinner idea!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 1 lb Rotini pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef (see note for seasonings)
  • 15 oz salsa con queso, ( I used Target's Good & Gather brand)
  • 10 oz can Original Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies), undrained
  • 6 oz Finely shredded Mexican blend cheese, (can use more or less)


  • Boil pasta according to the package directions in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
    1 lb Rotini pasta
  • In a large pot or deep skillet, over medium heat, add ground beef and break it up (Season beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. I don't measure this, just sprinkle it evenly over one side of the beef).
    1 lb ground beef (see note for seasonings)
  • Cook beef until done and drain off the fat.
  • Pour in Rotel tomatoes (undrained) and salsa con queso sauce. Stir to combine.
    15 oz salsa con queso, 10 oz can Original Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
  • Stir in cooked pasta until coated.
  • Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese. (Use as much as you desire)
    6 oz Finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Sprinkle with parsley to garnish (optional but it adds a nice pop of color)
  • Taste and add additional spices (see notes) if desired. Serve hot.



I seasoned my ground beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. However, you can get away with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can also use these spices to season the finished dish even more if desired. 
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Course: Main
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.