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Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe
Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe

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5 55 83
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I've been stuffing pasta shells with different fillings for years, but my family enjoys this version with taco-seasoned meat the most. The frozen shells are so convenient, because you can take out only the number you need for a single-serving lunch or family dinner. Just add zippy taco sauce and bake. —Marge Hodel Roanoke, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 45 min.
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 45 min.
MAKES: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (for each casserole):
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Transfer to a bowl; cool. Chill for 1 hour.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Gently toss with butter. Fill each shell with about 3 tablespoons of meat mixture. Place 12 shells in a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. To prepare remaining shells, spoon salsa into a greased 9-in. square baking dish. Top with stuffed shells and taco sauce. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and onions.
  4. To use frozen shells: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours (shells will be partially frozen). Spoon salsa into a greased 9-in. square baking dish; top with shells and taco sauce. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses and chips; proceed as directed. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Originally published as Taco-Filled Pasta Shells in Quick Cooking January/February 2001, p27


Reviews for Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

AVERAGE RATING
(83)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (72)
4 Star
 (10)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (0)
1 Star
 (1)
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MY REVIEW
ms11145 User ID: 1604521 248870
Reviewed May. 31, 2016

"Great recipe. I also added refried beans to the meat to act as a binding agent and to add more protein."

MY REVIEW
Peggie0203 User ID: 2074993 244132
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2016

"These were a big hit at our house. I'm looking forward to using the rest of them when I need a convenient, healthy meal.

I am always looking for ways to add more veggies to my meals. To this I added diced onion, celery, and red bell peppers. With the additional bulk I had left over filling.
I used a cookie scoop to fill the shells, it worked very well."

MY REVIEW
krohnmary User ID: 6997372 241490
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2016

"At our house we call this Pastaco. My daughter chose these for part of her graduation party which was a Mexican menu."

MY REVIEW
jmbullock User ID: 3278397 238649
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2015

"This is a go-to recipe for me - great way to make lots of lunches ahead of time too!"

MY REVIEW
ferndale52 User ID: 4154455 235417
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2015

"so easy to make, very tasty."

MY REVIEW
xxcskier User ID: 1136353 232796
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2015

"We LOVE this dish! I have made it many times and often make it for friends, neighbors and family , it s always a favorite to anyone who has it!"

MY REVIEW
No_Time_To_Cook User ID: 6334849 214747
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"These are great! Made for a potluck and everyone liked them."

MY REVIEW
AuntMoe User ID: 341498 33838
Reviewed Sep. 11, 2014

"My family loved this dish!!! It was so easy to make- and the flavors were incredible. Easy enough to add your own touch to spice it up even more!"

MY REVIEW
cathywcooks User ID: 7955518 29444
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2014

"Do yourself a favor. If you decide to try this, make your own taco seasoning. The package stuff is way too salty. Ruined my dinner."

MY REVIEW
dovecanyon User ID: 6559068 29497
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2014

"Made this the first time following the recipe except to add a small can of diced mild chilies and a bit of chopped onion to the meat mixture, and it was a success at my table. When making it again last night I found I had no taco sauce, so poured over a can of enchilada sauce from the pantry- family declared it even better than the original- saucy and delicious! This will become a regular in my recipe rotation."

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