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 cups: 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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DWare5883 User ID: 5884353 260292
Reviewed Jan. 25, 2017

"quick, easy, and tasted great."

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."

[email protected] User ID: 4441258 141265
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2011

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

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