Dairy Farmers of Canada

Southwestern Haystacks

This recipe is taken from the 2011 Milk Calendar. Move over traditional tomato sauce! Give your weeknight pasta some pep with a southwestern flavour twist. All you need is some sliced cucumber and greens dressed with a little lime juice on the side.

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
Yields 4 servings
southwestern haystacks
Add some excitement to your pasta! The recipe proposed in this video is a happy alternative to your usual tomato sauce. Inspired by the American southwest, the sauce made with black beans, salsa and corn will transform your usual weekday pasta into a real feast. Top it off in style with some grated Cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.


  • 12 oz (375 g) spaghetti or fettuccine
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 12 oz (375 g) boneless beef grilling steak cut into thin strips
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) salsa
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) canned kidney beans or black beans rinsed drained
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Canadian Cheddar or Canadian Monterey Jack shredded
  • Light sour cream (optional)
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In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until tender but firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 min or until starting to soften. Add beef and sauté for 3 min or until starting to brown. Whisk flour, chili powder and cumin into Milk; pour into skillet and cook, stirring, for about 5 min or until bubbling and thickened. Stir in salsa, tomato paste, corn and beans until heated through. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, on each plate build the haystack: pile pasta in the centre and spoon beef mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese and a dollop of sour cream (if using).


When cutting beef into strips, be sure to cut across the grain to keep it nice and tender.

For the Adventurous: Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro and pickled jalapeno peppers with the cheese. Use Canadian Monterey Jack or Havarti with hot peppers.

Healthy Eating Tip: This recipe provides some vitamin D from the milk – but you and your family will likely need more. Focus on foods like milk, yogurt and other dairy foods made with fortified milk, fish (salmon, herring, tuna and sardines) and eggs

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 707 Calories
Protein: 45 g
Carbohydrate: 99 g
Fat: 14 g
Fibre: 7.4 g
Sodium: 545 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 30 % / 329 mg
Folate: 127 %
Selenium: 195 %
Thiamin: 82 %
Vitamin B12: 79 %