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Stuffed Shells with Homemade Taco Sauce

This recipe for stuffed shells is sort of a combination of the traditional stuffed Italian shells with a distinct Mexican taco style flair.  The sauce is homemade and so is the taco seasoning.

Taco Stuffed shells with homemade sauce

Taco flavored recipes are some of my family’s favorite meal times.  (See my taco wraps and easy taco melts for other tasty ideas.) For tonight’s’ dinner, we’ll be making our own taco sauce.

Place the pasta shells in boiling water and cook until almost al dente.  Drain and place on a board, separated so they do not stick together.  Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Combine the cream cheese, taco sauce, and Mexican cheese and set aside.

cheese mixture

Meanwhile, cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until well cooked. Add to a saucepan.

onions and garlic

In the same frying pan, cook the ground beef. Transfer to the saucepan.

ground beef

Now cook the mushrooms. When they are soft, add them to the saucepan.


Stir in all of the tomato sauces as well as the taco seasoning.  I make my own taco seasoning but you can use packaged if you like.  My taco seasoning recipe can be found here.

sauce mix

Let the sauce cook for about 1/2 hour.  Longer is even better.

Combine 2 cups of the cooked sauce with the cheese mixture.

sauce and cheese mix

Place a layer of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. 

sauce in dish

Fill the taco shells with the cheese/sauce mixture.  Place in the baking dish, open side up. 

stuffed shells

Top with the rest of the sauce.

sauce on top

Bake at 350 º F for 30 minutes, covered with foil.

Taco Stuffed shells with homemade sauce

Remove the foil and add more Mexican cheese  on the top, put back into the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes. 

Taco Stuffed shells with homemade sauce

Serve hot with garlic bread and a tossed salad.Taco Stuffed shells with homemade sauceThis recipe is very spicy and just delicious. The homemade sauce is delicious and has an authentic Mexican flavor to it.

Taco Stuffed shells with homemade sauceServe the dish some spicy Mexican rice. My recipe for homemade garlic bread is also great with these stuffed shells.

Yield: 8

Taco Stuffed Shells with Homemade Sauce

Taco Stuffed Shells with Homemade Sauce

Yummy pasta shells stuffed with ground beef , seasonings and topped with cheese make this casserole a hit with your family.

Prep Time 39 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 24 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of diced mushrooms
  • 14 oz can of tomato puree
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp taco seasoning ( I make my own but you can use store bought)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/3 cup of cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 3 spring onions, chopped for topping
  • optional: Sour cream, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a skillet cook the ground beef, onions and garlic. Stir in the taco seasoning and combine well. Add the sauces and tomato ingredients and cook for about 30 minutes or longer for better flavor.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa and 1 cup of the Mexican cheese. Blend well. Set aside.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta shells in salted water, according to directions; drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set shells out individually so that they don’t stick together.
  5. Pour some of the sauce on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Combine 2 cups of the sauce with the cheese mixture. Stuff each shell and place in a baking dish open side up . Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up and cover with the sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed. Top with sour cream and spring onions. Serve with garlic bread and a tossed salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 693Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 919mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 8gSugar: 11gProtein: 37g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.



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