Cheese and Shrimp Pasta Bake

tomatoMexican cremaOaxaca cheese

Cheese and Shrimp Pasta Bake

Cheese and Shrimp Pasta Bake

Cazuela de Pasta con Queso

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

1 hour 10 minutes

Rate this recipe

5 from 8 votes


  • 3 fresh Anaheim chiles
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 3 pounds ripe on the vine tomatoes washed and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste, divided, plus more to season shrimp
  • 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried chiltepín chiles chile de árbol, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound short and small pasta such as rigatoni or shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Mexican crema
  • 1 cup grated asadero or quesadilla cheese can also substitute with Monterey Jack or Muenster
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Oaxaca cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated añejo cheese or parmesan
  • 3 to 4 scallions white and light green parts thinly sliced, for garnish

To Prepare

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Place the Anaheim chiles on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Put under the broiler for about 10 minutes, flipping a couple times in between, until charred on all sides. Immediately transfer the charred chiles to a plastic bag and seal tightly to sweat them for at least 5 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag, let cool slightly, then peel off the skin and remove the stems and seeds. Coarsely chop the chiles and set aside.
  • Heat an oven-proof heavy bottomed skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until the oil is rippling. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until it is translucent and starts to brown at the edges.
  • While the onion is cooking, add the tomatoes to a blender. Pulse in the blender until the tomatoes are crushed but are still a little chunky. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Add the garlic and chopped Anaheim chiles to the pan with the onion, stir, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for another couple minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Add the tomato paste, stir it into the vegetables, and let it cook and season for another minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes from the blender and stir making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to scrape up any browned bits. Season with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the crushed dried chiles. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is flavorful. Turn off the heat when ready.
  • Set a rack on the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450°F.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Melt the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When melted, sizzling, and hot, add the shrimp in a couple batches and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute a couple minutes until the shrimp are just cooked. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl or plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Chop half of the shrimp, leaving half whole to top the pasta.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce along with the chopped shrimp and the crema and toss to coat. Top with the remaining whole shrimp and cover with the grated asadero, Oaxaca, and añejo cheeses. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Sprinkle the top with scallions.


50comments inCheese and Shrimp Pasta Bake

  1. Drina

    Aug 27

    Absolutely fabulous! I added scallops with the shrimp and it was wonderful. Your recipes are great! Recipe I will cook often.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      Yay, so glad you liked this pasta so much Drina!

  2. Lindsay

    May 21

    Would a cast iron Dutch oven be OK for this recipe? I don’t have a skillet that is oven proof for that high temperature.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 25

      Absolutely Lindsay, go for it 😉

  3. Ron & Mike Seitz

    Mar 18

    !Hola! Pati, great recipe that we thoroughly enjoyed and will make again. We are Expats now living in Ajijic, Jalisco and don’t get CreateTV where we used to watch you, so now we rely on your website for recipes. Keep the great recipes coming for all to enjoy! Luckily we have great fish mongers here Lakeside so will be making more of your seafood recipes along with others. Muchas gracias.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 18

      Thanks to you guys! Ajijic is such a great place, keep cooking and having fun 😉

  4. Jim & Georgia

    Nov 27

    Dear sweet Pati, I finally tried this recipe, and used chiltepins for the first time! Wow! The richness of flavor – yum! We grow lots of veggies in our backyard, including Anaheim and pablano chiles, tomatoes, tomatillos and so much more. This recipe came together fast, thanks to home canned tomatoes and a husband who harvests the chiles by fire-roasting, peeling and chopping all the extras at the end of the growing season. Then we squeeze them into ice cube trays, bag the cubes and have them ready in the freezer to use throughout the year. We cut the recipe in half and I used only the Dutch oven to fry the shrimp and make the sauce, a one-pot meal. Love that, and the dish was fabulous!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      This is awesome Jim and Georgia! Awesome way to preserve your chilies, bravo!

  5. Sheila

    Nov 05

    My family and I love this recipe. I love making it for our Sunday dinner. Thank you for the lip smacking, eyes rolling to the back of the head awesome food. It makes my day when that happens.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      You made MY day with this comment, thanks so very much Sheila!

  6. Johnny

    May 05

    A very good and tasty recipe. I’ll make it on week-end. Thanks a lot.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 10

      Yay, hope you enjoyed the pasta Johnny 😉

  7. teeveedee

    Apr 25

    Absolutely wonderfully yummy dish. The recipe itself is a bit involved; this is not a quick, spur of the moment dish. Take your time with it and enjoy the process, the pay off is well worth the effort.

    I do have one issue with the recipe above; Pati does not specify the dimensions of her cooking dish. Whatever it is, it must be large to accommodate those ingredients. I use a 10″ wide, 3″ deep cast iron skillet and it strains to hold 2/3 the specified quantities.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 25

      So glad you liked this pasta, and thank you so much for the observation, very useful for everyone 🙂

  8. Nora Keough

    Feb 26

    Outstanding recipe Pati/ Yum

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Gracias Nora, glad you liked it 😉

  9. AzDoll

    Nov 24

    I simply adore you, especially when you sample your food and say mmmm!
    I’m a pescatarian and look forward to making this as well as other dishes requiring seafood!
    Thank-You for your wonderful show and your love of food and life.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 02

      Thanks so much for the sweet words! You are going to find so many recipes with seafood here, but let me share with you one of my favorites first, I hope you like it 😉

  10. Margo AZ

    Sep 01

    WOW! My husband and I watched your episode making this dish. Looked so good we decided to make it. WOW! is best said!
    I immediately bought both of your cookbooks! I even ordered one for my sister too! Excited to try other dishes & recipes!! Thank you for sharing these with us!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 05

      Thanks so much for this very sweet message Margo, glad to read you got the cookbooks. As we speak, I am working on the new one; we hope that it will be ready in the next couple of months, yay 😉

  11. Vicky

    Jun 04

    Made this recipe after watching the episode on PBS. We enjoyed it so much and will make it again. Only cheese I couldn’t find was anejo. Used Parmesan and don’t think it changed the flavor too much.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 08

      Hey Vicky, so glad to hear you guys enjoyed this pasta bake. Parmesan is fine and next time you can also use queso fresco. Enjoy!

  12. Alma I.

    May 30

    Thank you for such a delicious pasta! My dad’s from Sinaloa, so I HAVE to try all season 8’s recipes. This has SO much flavor & the chiles, tomatoes & all the quesos balance eachother out. Would you pick asadero or quesadilla cheese? I couldnt pick, so I used jack🤷‍♀️. Mil gracias. I love your show & your techniques!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 01

      Asadero and quesadilla are very similar Alma, you cannot go wrong with any of them. I would do Asadero the next time 😉 Thanks for tuning in!

  13. Marikyn Rivas

    May 18

    What chiles can I use instead of the california? I cant find any where I live.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 20

      You can go ahead and use Poblanos Marikyn, following the same instructions to char, peel and chop. Good luck!

  14. John D

    May 17

    I want to thank you so much for this recipe. I am not an accomplished cook. I saw your episode and it looked so good I wanted to give it a try. My family and I enjoyed it so much. I have much more confidence now and will be cooking much more. I certainly will be watching to get more recipes for the future. Thanks again.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 20

      Awesome John! So glad to read you feel confident now to keep on cooking, go for it and let me know if you have any questions 😉

  15. Joseph Garcia

    May 04

    I’ve made this dish twice now. My teenage sons (17 & 19) LOVE it! Thank you.
    P.S. I just got your cookbook too. Hoping to create memories with my family like my grandma did with mine growing up in LA.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 04

      If the teens approve, it must be good! Thanks Joseph, enjoy the book 😉

  16. Markus Buck

    Apr 25

    Love your series on Sinaloa. My wife is from Mazatlán and it is great to see so many familiar places, as well as some places we are excited try the next time we go.
    The shrimp pasta bake was wonderfuly delicious and I’m going to make it for my suegra the next time in Mazatlán!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Great idea Markus, I’m sure your suegra will be very impressed, good luck 😉

  17. Karleen

    Apr 19

    I cannot wait to make this yummy pasta dish. I may need some help with some of the ingredients (taking my boyfriend to SW Detroit). We saw this episode and we both immediately became Stay safe

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Hope you find everything you need Karleen 😉 You guys stay strong and safe as well!

  18. Marlon Murillo

    Apr 11

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes. This was so yummy. I just love the way you cook!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 19

      Gracias Marlon, very happy to read you liked this pasta. Stay safe and strong!

  19. Jasmin K Flores

    Apr 10

    We too are in quarantine and have decided to make several of your recipes. First was your Birria recipe (which was delicious) and tonight was this dish! We didn’t have enough tomatoes so we improvised and made some green sauce with tomatillos! So delicious 🙂 Thank you for cooking such wonderful food.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 19

      Thanks Jasmin, so glad to read you are spending these difficult times cooking more, stay strong! Making the sauce with tomatillos was a great idea, thanks for sharing 😉

  20. Nancy Olson

    Apr 07

    We are staying home now due to this virus and I have challenged myself to try new recipes a few times a week. We saw your show and how you made this dish so, of course I had to try. Tonight I made it and this was wonderful!! We go shrimping every spring so we had our own shrimp. I made according to your recipe except I add fresh cilantro!! We love this dish. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 09

      Thanks Nancy for giving this recipe a try, I can only imagine how delicious it came out with your own caught shrimp, yum!

  21. Tom W NRH TX

    Feb 09

    The kitchen is mine on the weekends and I have been wanting to make this dish for quite some tome. I’m thankful my wife and boys allow me to try new things This recipe was very tasty and fun to make. This recipe will easily serve more than eight. Next time I may add red bell peppers- Thanks Pati,

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      That would be a great addition Tom, thanks for trying this recipe!

  22. Erik

    Jan 26

    We just made your cheese and shrimp pasta bake. It’s delicious! We enjoy your show very much and your recipes even more. Cheers from Chicago!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Thank you Erik!

  23. mary zella

    Jan 25

    I never miss your show I will not go out till I see it. Thank you for sharing your family with us we have watched them grow up. I made the cheese and shrimp pasta bake it is the best. Pati just keep on giving us good things to cook.
    May God bless you and your family.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Thanks for the kind words Mary!

  24. Ida Gonzalez-Garza

    Jan 12

    We love watching your show! Thank you for sharing your love of food, country & family w/us! I look forward to future cooking shows & excursions around the country.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 13

      I can’t wait to show you more of Mexico, Ida!

  25. Kristin Norton

    Dec 26

    I just love you Pati! Thank your for sharing your gifts and family with us, and most especially the wonderful and varied cultures of Mexico, our great neighbor to the south.
    Happy Holidays to you and yours Pati. Tonight I am feeding my 18 year old son and his 4 friends the shrimp, Anaheim chili, pasta dish you prepared today. They are going to love it! Muchos gracias.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 27

      Oh thank you so much, Kristin! I hope everyone loves the pasta.

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