Beefy Shells and Cheese Recipe
Beefy Shells and Cheese Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Beefy Shells and Cheese Recipe

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Louise Graybiel, of Toronto, Ontario writes of her Beefy Shells and Cheese, “Boxed macaroni and cheese, store-bought salsa and canned beans make this kid-pleaser a snap to fix!” For a bonus, Louise likes to add shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese to the dish for extra-cheesy fun!
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (12 ounces) shells and cheese dinner mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/4 cups salsa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cup: 393 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 910mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein.


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set aside cheese sauce packet from dinner mix. Add shells and water to skillet. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  2. Stir in the salsa, beans, chili powder, salt and contents of cheese sauce packet. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Beefy Shells and Cheese in Simple & Delicious September/October 2007, p24

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lil momma jenn User ID: 2508512 235638
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2015

"This was a quick simple meal for a night I am in a rush."

cookinmommy User ID: 166191 231258
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2015

"This is a tasty dish that is easy to make. My ground chuck is always precooked and in 1 lb foodsaver packages in the freezer so very quick to get on the table. I used a shells and cheese boxed mix from Aldi's and it works well. The family loves it so that's a plus!"

jesqueda1 User ID: 896377 146988
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2014

"Easy to prepare and very tasty. A big hit with my family"

alicia_brooks User ID: 7617863 151856
Reviewed Apr. 1, 2014

"This was easy to prepare and tasted great!"

RIDiverGirl User ID: 5086858 74923
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2013

"Absolutely delicious! I love the black bean addition and thought the leftovers reheated beautifully."

Floatout2sea User ID: 6366893 58915
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2011

"This is one of our favorites. I agree with a previous reviewer about skipping the salt. I forgot it once, didn't miss it and haven't added it since."

somannaranjo User ID: 1075392 56872
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2011

"This was great! The whole family loved it! The only thing I didn't like about it is that it didn't make for very good leftovers. So try not to make too much at one time!"

Jill - KY User ID: 5552402 206673
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2011

"Didn't have the boxed stuff. But I did have elbows and velvetta. One said "Ummmm", one picked out the beans, hubby said he would prefer it without the beans. I also added spices to my families taste. Garlic powder, cumin & nature season. I will make again."

MY REVIEW User ID: 4441258 141265
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2011

"We too liked this recipe. A great twist to the old standby of mac and cheese."

rhondawray User ID: 2041140 120860
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2011

"This has become one of our family's entree standbys. The leftovers are just as good! I've used chili beans in place of the black beans. We love the black beans but I don't always have them on hand."

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