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Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

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. YIELD: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


  • 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.

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.

Reviews for Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

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Reviewed Nov. 3, 2015

"The grandkids loved it and it was simple to make."

Reviewed Sep. 12, 2015

"I will make this again!!! Everyone loved it! You could add veggies to this. I added some corn."

Reviewed Jul. 18, 2015

"Good. Freezes well, I just let it defrost in the fridge overnight and cooked as usual."

Reviewed Jul. 4, 2015

"Very good! I topped it with coarsely crushed Doritos......yummy!!! Served with sour brainer. Love this recipe!! ??"

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!"

Reviewed May. 26, 2015

"Made these for lunch. WOW. GREAT. Added a few red pepper for a little kick."

Reviewed May. 26, 2015

"I have been making these since they originally came grandkids love them and so do my husband and i. Leftovers freeze well. Very good!"

Reviewed May. 7, 2015

"I made this the day before and then baked it the next day. We really liked it"

Reviewed Apr. 19, 2015

"Excellent and have made it multiple times!"

Reviewed Jan. 22, 2014

"I love this recipe, I followed it exactly and it came out great. I liked the crunch the chips added but they didn't add too much flavor so they aren't really necessary. I saved extra to chips to use on the leftovers since they got soggy in the fridge."

Reviewed Jul. 2, 2013

"We didn't use all the taco sauce, only had 1 lb of beef, left off the tortilla chips, and still decided we like this better than traditional stuffed shells."

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2013

"Easy and fun! The whole family enjoyed these a lot!"

Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

"Excellent recipe!! I love it and make it all the time now. My family loves its too"

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2012

"My kids love this!!"

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2011

"I like to cook some onion with oil first then add the beef."

Reviewed Aug. 30, 2011

"They tasted pretty good, but it takes too much time to prepare. I didn't like having to stand there filling each shell and then you still have to bake it for another 30 mins. Also, the picture makes the shells look bigger than they really are. I think next time I'll lay lasagna noodles in the pan and just spread the beef mixture over top of those. That would make the whole process way faster! This recipe is just too time consuming and they're really not worth it."

Reviewed Jan. 17, 2011

"My Husband and son couldnt get enough made a 13x9pan and there is only 2 shells left wow what a great hit and a new edition will make this again."

Reviewed Dec. 12, 2010

"I forgot to buy taco sauce, and used a jar of salsa instead, and I think it turned out great. I'm not sure what the cream cheese did for it. And we topped ours with a dollop of sour cream. My husband was pretty wow'ed!"

Reviewed Dec. 4, 2010

"Way too much chili powder! Will definitely scale it down next time, but my husband LOVED it! The tortilla chips go great with everything."

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2010

"Delicious! I scaled this down to 2 servings for just me and my husband and it was a big hit. It was easy to prepare, had good flavor, and I especially like the fact that it is lower in fat. We had it last week and I am making it again tonight. This one is going into regular rotation!"

Reviewed Sep. 12, 2009

"This casserole is delicious! My family loves when I make this. It is a bit time consuming as you have to fill the shells, but I've received quite a few compliments when I've served this at dinner."

Reviewed Jun. 23, 2009

"Very messy and not very tasty, stick with regular tacos!"

Reviewed Nov. 10, 2008

"Teens loved it - single recipe didn't last long - they couldn't get enough! Great recipe!"

Reviewed Sep. 28, 2008

"This recipes rocks!! Loved it!!"

Reviewed Sep. 12, 2008

"My family loved it! All my kids had seconds and even thirds! Its going on my make again list!"

Reviewed Sep. 3, 2008

"i love this dish and you were right kids do love it"

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