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Beefy Shells and Cheese

Louise Graybiel, of Toronto, Ontario writes of her Beefy Shells and Cheese, “Boxed macaroni and cheese, store-bought salsa and canned beans make this kid-pleaser a snap to fix!” For a bonus, Louise likes to add shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese to the dish for extra-cheesy fun!
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (12 ounces) shells and cheese dinner mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/4 cups salsa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set aside cheese sauce packet from dinner mix. Add shells and water to skillet. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  • Stir in the salsa, beans, chili powder, salt and contents of cheese sauce packet. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

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Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • DWare5883
    Jan 25, 2017

    Quick, easy, and tasted great.

  • lil momma jenn
    Oct 25, 2015

    This was a quick simple meal for a night I am in a rush.

  • cookinmommy
    Aug 15, 2015

    This is a tasty dish that is easy to make. My ground chuck is always precooked and in 1 lb foodsaver packages in the freezer so very quick to get on the table. I used a shells and cheese boxed mix from Aldi's and it works well. The family loves it so that's a plus!

  • jesqueda1
    Nov 20, 2014

    Easy to prepare and very tasty. A big hit with my family

  • alicia_brooks
    Apr 1, 2014

    This was easy to prepare and tasted great!

  • RIDiverGirl
    Dec 5, 2013

    Absolutely delicious! I love the black bean addition and thought the leftovers reheated beautifully.

  • Floatout2sea
    Nov 25, 2011

    This is one of our favorites. I agree with a previous reviewer about skipping the salt. I forgot it once, didn't miss it and haven't added it since.

  • somannaranjo
    Nov 16, 2011

    This was great! The whole family loved it! The only thing I didn't like about it is that it didn't make for very good leftovers. So try not to make too much at one time!

  • Jill - KY
    Sep 16, 2011

    Didn't have the boxed stuff. But I did have elbows and velvetta. One said "Ummmm", one picked out the beans, hubby said he would prefer it without the beans. I also added spices to my families taste. Garlic powder, cumin & nature season. I will make again.

  • LibbiPeach
    Jul 31, 2011

    We too liked this recipe. A great twist to the old standby of mac and cheese.