Padre Island Shells Recipe
Padre Island Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Padre Island Shells Recipe

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I'm asked to fix this dish over and over, so there's no doubt it's worth sharing.—Dona Grover, Rockwall, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:6-8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 6-8 servings


  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 3-1/2 cup medium shell pasta, cooked and drained
  • 3 cans (6 ounces each) crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed or 1 pound imitation crabmeat, flaked
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 395 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 476mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 19g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, saute green pepper and onion in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Stir in flour and salt until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in tomato and parsley.
  2. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup of cheese until melted. Stir in pasta and crab. Transfer to a greased shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  3. Melt the remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Padre Island Shells in Casserole Cookbook 2001, p112

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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kkhm918 User ID: 5653554 56543
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2011

"I have made this a number of times and everyone always really enjoys it! I use the imitation crab, but sometimes I use the mix of crab, lobster, and those tiny shrimps. I always make sparkling lemonade to go with it. :)"

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