Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) taco sauce, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 20 baked tortilla chip scoops, coarsely crushed

Nutritional Facts

3 stuffed shells: 384 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 665mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 33g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cream cheese and 1/2 cup taco sauce until blended. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into each shell. Place in an 11x7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining taco sauce.
  4. Bake, covered, until heated through, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chips.
  5. Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Top with cheese and chips as directed.
  6. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Taco Pasta Shells in Light & Tasty December/January 2008 , p21

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amehart User ID: 1464390 259931
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2017

"My daughter has been after me to make these and now I'm sorry it took me so long as they are delicious! Simple to put together and I made them ahead of time, so it was easy to pop in the oven for dinner. Added some sour cream on top when serving and they were perfect! Will definitely be making again."

daisymae44 User ID: 871233 236248
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2015

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

xlsalbums User ID: 5254917 232768
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2015

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

twinkiedog User ID: 8053636 229749
Reviewed Jul. 18, 2015

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

luigimon User ID: 1692040 228921
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2015

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

Milkmaid123 User ID: 8344572 228440
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2015

"Very good and flavorful"

PrplMonky5 User ID: 6612040 228311
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."

muffbear74 User ID: 209131 227960
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."

Lyndamr09 User ID: 6289348 227105
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."

Katz6703 User ID: 7370710 227020
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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