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Sassy Southwest Stuffed Shells

When I was a child, my mom made this dish quite often. When I came across her recipe on an index card, I quickly copied it. Over the years, I have made very few changes to retain that taste-of-home memory. —Kellie Braddell, West Point, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 1 can (6 ounces) french-fried onions, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and pork over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain. Add carrot, green onions and garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in chiles, 1 cup cheese, half of the fried onions and the cilantro. In a large bowl combine picante sauce, tomato sauce and water; stir 1 cup picante mixture into pan.
  • Spread 1 cup remaining picante mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Fill pasta shells with meat mixture; place in baking dish, overlapping ends slightly. Top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese and remaining fried onions. Bake until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
3 stuffed shells: 487 calories, 26g fat (10g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 1181mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 22g protein.

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  • dschultz01
    Jan 14, 2020

    I cut this recipe in half, and left out the cilantro because my wife can't eat it, but other than that made it exactly as written. They were very tasty. Would definitely make these again.