Fiesta Skillet Mac

Our grocery store’s freezer section is full of these frozen convenience meals.  I love the ideas of these because they’re so EASY and when I don’t feel much like cooking they’re something my husband can cook.  But, let’s face it.  A little bit of pasta, not even a full serving of vegetables and usually a lousy quarter pound AT MOST of meat (usually chicken) does not a dinner make.  And they think this stuff is supposed to feed TWO PEOPLE?  Insanity.  These people clearly don’t have my appetite.  Or standards.  I usually wind up adding stuff to those to make them into an actual meal.  Tonight, I figured, I might as well take that concept, but make it entirely from scratch.  The end result was hearty, filling, and certainly more flavorful than anything you find in the freezer section.  And most of it came directly out of MY freezer.  Serves 2-3 depending on how hungry you are at either 596 or 895 calories and 24 or 35.5 grams of fat.  So here’s my offering for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by The Sweet Kitchen.


  • 1 pound of lean hamburger meat
  • 4 oz. whole wheat rotini (or other small pasta)
  • 1 can rotel, drained
  • 1 pound pepper jack Velveeta
  • 1 package frozen fiesta style vegetables


  1. Set your pasta to boil.
  2. Brown your ground beef.  Ideally they should be ready at the same time so that you can drain the beef and dump the pasta over it to rinse.
  3. Meanwhile, using one of those ziplock steamer bags, steam the vegetables for 5 minutes (you can also saute or boil them I guess, but this way they don’t get soggy).
  4. Add the beef, pasta, rotel, vegetables, and cubed Velveeta to your clean skillet.
  5. Stir over medium low heat until cheese is melted and coats everything.
  6. Enjoy!

Printable version.

6 thoughts on “Fiesta Skillet Mac

    1. I was just discussing with a friend that it could totally be stretched to feed more people by just adding more pasta. We’re trying to keep things slightly less carby at our house. 😀

  1. Thanks for the reminder of how easy it is to make your own and that the frozen dinners are not as filling or nourishing as they seem on the box. Great submission for Presto Pasta Nights.

    1. Yeah I have to avoid looking at my food blog during the midafternoon slump because it makes me STARVING!

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