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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)
  • 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


  • 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. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

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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!"

Patrjf60 User ID: 7877093 226981
Reviewed May. 26, 2015

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

Radrac User ID: 8083253 226972
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!"

angieact1 User ID: 1990802 226027
Reviewed May. 7, 2015

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

DRSchmitgall User ID: 2724529 225099
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2015

"Excellent and have made it multiple times!"

Jaimedee29 User ID: 1953449 169393
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."

peacharmadillo User ID: 3329993 164730
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."

chandra_24 User ID: 7042813 67680
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2013

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

Jstreet88 User ID: 6327182 149551
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2012

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

melissagossard User ID: 1435659 164003
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2012

"My kids love this!!"

Kissypie09 User ID: 5108251 76611
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2011

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

kengrants User ID: 4608201 96470
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."

tlewis5172 User ID: 5542242 122811
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."

thumbunny User ID: 4247882 208802
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!"

bdrcollie2470 User ID: 5653111 95157
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."

Tanya1968 User ID: 4504669 208801
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!"

ndbuffalowoman User ID: 3212742 164001
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."

Sheryl1447 User ID: 2612686 149548
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2009

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

wlachef User ID: 3202319 122810
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2008

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

tiffjohns User ID: 3317792 169392
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2008

"This recipes rocks!! Loved it!!"

sswade User ID: 3362346 122809
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2008

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

ilove2cookwithmonkeys User ID: 3366166 208800
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2008

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

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