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

Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe

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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 turkey or beef
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    With Johnsonville Italian Sausage.

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  • 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
   (74)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (63)
4 Star
 (10)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (0)
1 Star
 (1)
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MY REVIEW
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
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.

MY REVIEW
Reviewed May. 8, 2014

Loved This!!! Easily adaptable for any family's taste. Best part of all, I can whip it up in the morning, clean the kitchen and have the rest of my day not worrying "what's for dinner"! Thanks for sharing!

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2014

Tastes great and easily modified to personal preferences

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2014

I think this was such a great idea! I used a whole jar of salsa...enough to have the bottom of the dish covered. Then a few weeks after I made the frozen batch and it tasted just as good as the first one

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