Sassy Southwest Stuffed Shells

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 35 min.


8 servings

Updated: Dec. 14, 2023
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
Sassy Southwest Stuffed Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread 1 cup of the 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 1 cup of cheese and remaining fried onions. Bake until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes longer.

Nutrition Facts

3 stuffed shells: 487 calories, 26g fat (10g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 1181mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 22g protein.