Cinco de Mayo is sneaking up on us and in order to make this year's festivity a memorable one, we are giving you three easy recipes. While we love traditional Mexican food -- from tacos to chilaquiles -- how about giving it a twist? A pasta twist!

Before you make a face, did you know that pasta is a perfect foundation for Mexican-flared dishes? In fact, Americans' favorite ingredients for pasta are cheese (68 percent), ground beef (59 percent) and veggies (44 percent).

Check out these three finger-licking good Cinco de Mayo recipes for the perfect fiesta.

CHORIZO PASTA BAKE

Chorizo Pasta Bake Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a chorizo pasta bake Courtesy
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box elbow pasta
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ lb. Mexican chorizo, crumbled
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the directions but remove from the heat and drain half way through. Toss with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and place on a tray to cool down.
  3. In a large skillet, sauté chorizo for about five minutes. Add the corn and beans and sauté an additional minute.
  4. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Fold in the pasta and half the cheese and transfer to a 13”x9” greased baking dish. Top with tomatoes and the remaining cheese.
  5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil to let the top brown (approximately five minutes).
  6. Remove from the oven and serve.

LASAGNA PASTA CHIPS WITH SEVEN-LAYER DIP

Lasagna Pasta Chips with Seven-Layer Dip Nothing says fiesta like this tasty dip! Courtesy
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box lasagna
  • 1 ½ cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 ½ tablespoons prepared taco seasoning
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • ¾ cup guacamole
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¾ cup shredded four-cheese blend
  • ½ cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • ½ cup fresh green onion, sliced thin 
  • salt, to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season with salt.
  2. Cook pasta for four minutes. Remove from the water and lay in single layers on a cookie sheet to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Slice the cooled pasta into triangles and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the top of the pasta as well.
  5. Season with salt.
  6. Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes or until crisp and slightly puffy.
  7. Combine the chicken, taco seasoning and sour cream in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  8. Layer the ingredients into six martini glasses, starting with the beans, then chicken mixture, guacamole, salsa, cheese, olives, lettuce and onions.
  9. Serve with pasta chips.

TACO LASAGNA

Mexican Taco Lasagna Give a twist to taco with this lasagna dish Courtesy

 
Ingredients
  • 1 box lasagna
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 package (8 oz.) light cream cheese
  • ¾ cup light sour cream
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • ¾ cups queso fresco
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the lasagna according to the directions. Drain and toss with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and place flat on a tray to cool down.
  3. In a large skillet, sauté the ground beef with 2 tbsp. of olive oil until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and black beans.
  7. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  8. In a 13”x9” baking dish, spread 1 cup of the meat sauce and top with four sheets of lasagna 
  9. Spread 1½ cups of sauce and half the cream cheese mixture then top with four more sheets of lasagna, repeat for one additional layer.
  10. For the top layer, add the remaining meat sauce and queso fresco. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil to let the top brown (approximately five minutes).
  11. Remove from the oven and top with pico de gallo, avocado and a drizzle of lime juice before serving.