Treat Your Family to these Stuffed Shells – Taco Style
We love any kind of pasta at our house, but when I am in the mood for something special, I like to serve stuffed shells. This delicious take on my normal recipe uses Taco sauce to give them a unique Mexican flare. The kids will love these. They are perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
The recipe is fairly easy to do and can even be doubled and the stuffed shells frozen, so that much of the work is done later when time is at a premium.
Cook your beef first with the garlic until it is no longer pink. Add the water and taco seasoning and cook for another few minutes until the liquid is starting to get absorbed.Taco seasoning gives the hamburger meat its distinctive Mexican flavoring. (affiliate link) I use the medium sized shells. They are easier to get at my local store and still plenty big enough to hold lots of the filling. If you don’t have any taco seasoning on hand, you can easily make your own with this recipe and some common household spices.
After the meat finishes cooking, stir in the cream cheese until it just starts to melt. It doesn’t matter if it is completely melted. It will be quite dry at this stage but as the cheese melts more, it is the perfect consistency to stuff the shells.
Then the shells are stuffed. (this is the point you would freeze the stuffed shells if you were doubling the recipe.)
Next layer your casserole by placing your favorite salsan the bottom of an oven proof casserole, (affiliate link) adding the shells and pouring your favorite marinara sauce over the top. (see my recipe for home made marinara here. I make it with fresh roasted tomatoes which are plentiful this time of the year.) I used Newman’s own black bean and corn salsa, but any will do just fine. The casserole will cook for 30 minutes at 350º and then another 15 minutes after the cheese has melted.
Garnish with some diced green onions and sour cream and add a tossed salad. The family will ask for this one again and again. Olé!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pkg taco seasoning
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
- 1/2 box of jumbo pasta shells (6 ounces) I ended up with 13 filled shells
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce (you can also use tomato sauce or taco sauce)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 green onions, chopped
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