Cheesy Taco-Ziti

 Cheesy Taco Ziti
Sometimes we must create on the fly and often those are some of our most memorable creations.

Let me set the scene...a gaggle of hungry preteen-teen boys descends upon our home. They are famished after games of basketball, air hockey and fooseball. They want something more substantial than bags of chips, cookies or Gatorade. Oh, and one of them will not eat "sauce" of any kind. Hmmm

Okay, my brain kicks into high gear while I try to think what will fill these kids up and make everyone happy. I grab a bag of ziti pasta, fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles, black beans and chopped olives. 

I shred some cheese and in the time it takes to cook the pasta, this dish is ready to serve and it disappears faster than I can even imagine. Now it is a highly requested dish. It is so good as is no one even misses the fact that it is a meatless and essentially sauceless dish. It's packed with flavor.

Ziti Taco Bake pasta
I love the shape of ziti but sometimes I have a hard time finding it at the store. Is it readily available in your area?

Cheesy Taco Ziti perfect meal and appetizer
We have made this several more times since "that day" and we love to drizzle Chipotle Tabasco over the top. It tastes amazing. Sour cream is a good addition too.

Print Recipe

Cheesy Taco-Ziti

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: Serves 4-6


  • 12 oz dry ziti pasta
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles, drained (this brand is the best)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped black olives
  • 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese


  • tortilla chips
  • pickled jalapeno slices
  • green onion
  • Chipotle Tabasco or whatever you like we let everyone drizzle on their own chioce
  • sour cream


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking add fire-roasted tomatoes to a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Even though you already drained the tomatoes, there will still be some residual watery juices present. Cook until extra juice cooks off, this will only take a couple minutes. Turn down heat to med-low and add beans and olives. Combine mixture and warm through.
  • When pasta is done cooking, drain and combine with tomato-bean-olive mixture.
  • Place half of pasta on a serving tray and sprinkle with one cup of cheese. Add the rest of pasta on top and sprinkle with remaining layer of cheese. Top with a handful of pickled jalapenos and green onions. Place tortilla chips in and around serving dish as this can just be scooped up like a dip. No forks required. Serve with a variety of hot sauces and sour cream if desired.

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  1. YUM!! Looks great – and I love the Chipotle Tobasco, too!

  2. Katie 2

    yum! I love when I create things on the fly and they come out awesome!

  3. Now that’s a creative dish! I wouldn’t have thought of combining pasta with tortilla chips but I can see that this would really work well together.

  4. That looks great! Sounds perfect for teenagers, or my husbands musical buddies! This will be making an appearance at my house too! Thank you!

  5. doesn’t like sauce of any kind? I’d have to trade him in :-)

  6. This pasta taco dish sounds amazing! Great idea!

  7. Wow- this sounds awesome! Great for a weeknight meal when we’re looking for something we can whip up quickly.

  8. Li 8

    OMG looks so good! love off the beaten path dishes so much.


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