Tex Mex Pasta with Spiced Lentils
and spicy cumin broccoli
Smarts: Pay attention to the measurement provided for the pasta here. It's a lower amount than we often use in pasta dishes to be sure that the entire dish will fit in one large skillet. (If it still doesn't fit in the skillet you use, follow instructions provided to transfer the pasta to a baking dish for the final step.)
- Cumin, ground - 3 tsp
- Chili powder - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Oregano, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
- Pasta, fusilli - 4 oz (sub any pasta shape)
- Bell peppers, any color - 1, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Lentils, cooked - 2 cups (use pre-cooked lentils or if cooking from dried, use half the amount of dried and prepare according to package directions)
- Tex Mex Spice Mix (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 6 Tbsp
- Water - 1 cup
- Tomatoes, diced and fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Cheese, any shredded blend - 2 oz + 2 oz
- Sour cream or plain yogurt (opt) - for serving
- Broccoli - 1 lb, florets
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Pasta - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Bring a stock pot of salted water to boil. Boil pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Broccoli / Bell peppers - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make spice blend - Combine cumin (portion for spice blend), chili powder, salt, ground coriander, oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
- On a sheet pan, toss broccoli with oil (portion for broccoli). Season with cumin (portion for broccoli), red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper.
- Roast broccoli, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until golden brown and tender, ~20 minutes.
- While broccoli roasts, heat a large oven-safe skillet with oil (portion for pasta) over medium heat. Add bell peppers and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
- To bell peppers, add lentils and spice mix and cook until lentils are heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir tomato paste into lentil mixture. Add water and tomatoes (including liquid) and bring to a simmer.
- Stir pasta and first portion of cheese into sauce. (Note: If it won’t all easily fit in the skillet, you can transfer it to a lightly oiled baking dish that is safe to use under the broiler.)
- When broccoli is done roasting, remove it from the oven and turn on the oven’s broiler.
- Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli and cover to keep warm.
- Top pasta with second portion of cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Serve pasta with sour cream on top and broccoli on the side. Enjoy!
Good! Like chili mac but not as heavy. To make it easier, I mixed the cheese in and didn't broil. I also used a bag of frozen broccoli that I microwaved and mixed in right before serving.1 Helpful
Added 1 small onion Added about a cup of pinto beans (or 1 can)0 Helpful
Really good, easy taco salad. I steamed the broccoli a bit and just added it to the salad. Also added avocado.0 Helpful
Really liked the broccoli! The spice mix was a nice change from your usual “macaroni casserole”.0 Helpful
This was good. Heavier than I am used to eating (I don't usually do pasta), but this was good. Kids didn't like it, but hubs and I did. Not sure I would make it again since the rest of the crew wasn't a fan. I enjoyed mixing it up.0 Helpful
Everyone loved it, I doubled the spices. Used sour cream in the kids' portion to cut any spiciness. They ate all of it!! I didn't have time to broil, and was fine without it. Used macaroni shaped pasta, and made extra of it to add till it looked right. Also added some leftover black beans and leftover cooked onions, and extra bell peppers to it, which made it even better. Broccoli was good too!0 Helpful
Put in a little extra spice because I used a pound and a quarter of ground beef. Lots of good flavor. Used a pack of pepper jack cheese. Good quick dinner. Update - I realized later that I forgot to add the water. There was just the right amount of sauce without it. It looked just like the photo.0 Helpful