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Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

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Here's a kid-friendly dish so flavorful and fun, nobody is likely to guess that it's also lower in fat. It's a great family supper for busy weeknights! —Anne Thomsen, Westchester, Ohio
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 18 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) taco sauce, divided
  • 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 20 baked tortilla chip scoops, coarsely crushed

Nutritional Facts

3 stuffed shells equals 384 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 665 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 33 g protein.


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink; drain. Add 1/2 cup taco sauce, cream cheese and chili powder; cook and stir until blended. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese blend.
  2. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons beef mixture. Arrange in an 11x7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon remaining taco sauce over the top.
  3. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese blend. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chips.
  4. Freeze option: Sprinkle casserole with remaining cheese blend. Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Sprinkle with chips. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Taco Pasta Shells in Light & Tasty December/January 2008, p21

Nutritional Facts

3 stuffed shells equals 384 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 665 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 33 g protein.

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Reviewed Jun. 23, 2015

"Very good and flavorful"

Reviewed Jun. 21, 2015

"My husband really liked this but I thought it was just ok. I think maybe next time I'll cut back on the meat and add some veggies (like maybe some corn or chopped bell pepper). We actually tried it with chicken and it all worked out fine. Will update my review when we try it again and use ground beef."

Reviewed Jun. 15, 2015

"Yum! My husband was amused by the "Mexican stuffed shells", but we both liked them a lot. I didn't change a thing, except I didn't use the crushed tortilla scoops."

Reviewed May. 29, 2015

"This was very tasty. I used ground turkey and added a packet of taco seasoning to give it more flavor. I didn't have taco sauce so I used salsa. The only thing I would do different next time is I would make it a casserole to save time stuffing the shells. I am going to use al dente rotini and mix with turkey mixture and bake as indicated and then add the cheese and broken tortillas and bake until cheese is melted. I think it will be just as good and not so much work."

Reviewed May. 27, 2015

"its official! my son gave this dish his stamp of approval as the best Mexican dish he's ever eaten and he actually rushed home to eat the leftovers before anyone else could get to it. I made it exactly as written and it was delish!"

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