Taco Stuffed Shells


20–24 jumbo pasta shells

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion diced

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

¾ cup water

1 cup salsa or salsa style tomatoes

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes drained (or diced tomatoes)

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper finely minced

Green onion (optional garnish)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the shells according to package directions and drain well.

Meanwhile brown the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When it is about halfway through the browning process add the onion and continue cooking until the beef is browned and onions are soft. If needed drain any excess grease from the skillet.

Add the taco seasoning and water to the ground beef mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the salsa and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Once cooled stir in half of each cheese.

Spoon the seasoned ground beef mixture into the shells and lay them in a single layer in the prepared dish. Top with the remaining cheese, Rotel tomatoes, and minced jalapeno.

Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with minced jalapeno or green onion. For best results serve promptly.

Nutrition Information:

YIELD: 1 SERVING SIZE: 24 shells

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 226 | TOTAL FAT: 10g | SATURATED FAT: 5g | CHOLESTEROL: 42mg | SODIUM: 482mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 18g | FIBER: 1g | SUGAR: 1g | PROTEIN: 15g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use pre-cooked pasta shells for this recipe?

It’s recommended to use uncooked jumbo pasta shells and cook them according to the package instructions before stuffing them. Pre-cooked shells may become too soft during baking.

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of jumbo shells?

Yes, you can try using other pasta shapes like large macaroni shells or manicotti tubes. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.

See also  Southern-Fried-Chicken

Can I use a different type of meat instead of ground beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, or even plant-based alternatives like crumbled tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How spicy is this recipe?

The spiciness can be adjusted based on your preference. If you enjoy mild flavors, you can reduce or omit the jalapeno or serrano pepper.

On the other hand, if you like it spicy, you can add more minced peppers or even incorporate hot sauce into the filling.

Can I prepare the filling in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the ground beef mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to stuff the shells.

Just make sure to reheat it slightly before filling the shells to ensure even cooking.

Is it possible to make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by replacing the ground beef with plant-based crumbles or cooked lentils.

Additionally, you can use vegetarian-friendly cheese substitutes or omit the cheese altogether.

What are some serving suggestions or additional toppings?

Taco Stuffed Shells can be served with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Some popular options include sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, or a squeeze of lime juice.

You can also serve it with a side of Mexican rice or a fresh salad for a complete meal.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the stuffed shells in advance and refrigerate them. When ready to bake, simply follow the instructions, but increase the baking time slightly to ensure the shells are heated through.