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Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells

taco-stuffed pasta shells Entree
Taco-stuffed pasta shells topped with cheese, diced tomatoes and cilantro in a baking dish.
  • Prep 35 min
  • Total 55 min
  • Servings 8

Yes, you read that right: taco-stuffed pasta shells! You no longer have to choose between Italian or Mexican food for dinner—this dish has it all. Made with only seven ingredients in less than an hour, these stuffed taco shells are the perfect recipe for busy weeknights when you still want to put a flavorful, family-friendly dinner on the table. Hearty with taco-seasoned ground beef and extra cheesy, this pasta is bound to become a staple in your weekly dinner rotation. MORE+ LESS-

Updated July 2, 2019
Old El Paso
Make with
Old El Paso

Ingredients

8
oz uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 24 shells from 12-oz box)
1
lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1
package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ original taco seasoning mix
1
can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
1
package (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend (2 cups)
1
cup diced plum (Roma) tomatoes
1/4
cup chopped fresh cilantro

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on box.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Add taco seasoning mix, crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of the shredded cheese; stir well until cheese is melted.
    Cooked ground beef in a skillet on the stove with spatula mixing in shredded cheese and crushed tomatoes.
  • 3
    Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tablespoon beef mixture; place in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top filled shells with plum tomatoes and chopped cilantro; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
    Glass 13x9 baking dish lined with cooked pasta shells filled with beef mixture.
  • 4
    Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Expert Tips

  • Ground turkey is a great substitute for ground beef in this dish.
  • If you prefer more heat, try some chopped jalapeños on your shells.
  • When browning ground beef, use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the ground beef into equal-size pieces.
  • When using a nonstick skillet, avoid metal spatulas to stir food or remove it from the pan. Likewise, avoid steel wool for cleaning. These tools can scratch and damage the nonstick coating on the pan.
  • Store-bought ground beef can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before use. Otherwise, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, or in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
330
Calories from Fat
140
% Daily Value
Total Fat
15g
24%
Saturated Fat
8g
39%
Trans Fat
1/2g
Cholesterol
60mg
21%
Sodium
430mg
18%
Potassium
200mg
6%
Total Carbohydrate
28g
9%
Dietary Fiber
2g
8%
Sugars
3g
Protein
20g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
20%
20%
Vitamin C
2%
2%
Calcium
20%
20%
Iron
15%
15%
Exchanges:
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 1 Lean Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Stuffed shells in a baking dish is an Italian-American classic—it’s often filled with a ricotta cheese mixture and smothered in a red sauce with more cheese much like manicotti, but it’s much easier to fill. Manicotti is a type of large tube-shaped pasta that often requires the mixture to be piped in, which can be difficult and time consuming. Stuffed shells, on the other hand (called “conchiglioni” in Italian, which translates to “seashell”) are easy to stuff. All you need is a spoon and your hands! This taco stuffed shells recipe breaks from tradition in ditching the ricotta filling for a Mexican-inspired one. Shredded Mexican cheese, ground beef, taco seasoning and crushed tomatoes combine to make the best stuffed shells filling you never thought of, and one you’ll want to make again and again. The taco fun doesn’t stop at stuffed shells. Check out all of our delicious twists on Mexican food by browsing our collection of top-rated recipes.

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