In these Taco Stuffed Shells, tacos and pasta collide to make a delicious, family-friendly dinner!
In a traditional stuffed shells recipe, cooked pasta shells are stuffed with beef and ricotta and topped with marinara and mozzarella cheese. Taco stuffed shells are much different than that. These are shells stuffed with taco meat, then topped with salsa and cheese and baked until piping hot with plenty of melted cheese!
- jumbo pasta shells
- 90% lean ground beef
- bell pepper
- canned diced tomatoes
- packet of taco seasoning
- cheddar cheese
- Monterey Jack cheese
How to make Taco Stuffed Shells:
Cook the pasta shells until they are an al dente texture (a little bit of a firmness to the pasta).
Make the taco meat. Sauté the beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic until the beef has browned and the veggies are soft. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning and water. Simmer until thickened.
Spread 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon taco meat into the shells, and place them into the casserole dish. Spoon the remaining salsa on the taco stuffed shells. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Cover and bake for about 30 minutes (until it looks like this). It will be hot and cheesy!
You can certainly eat these on their own with no adornments at all, but I wholeheartedly believe that these taco stuffed shells are not complete until you add your favorite fixings! I recommend shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped onion, sour cream and maybe even a little guacamole. Add what you usually like best when you make traditional tacos.
What’s not to love? You get two favorite meals (tacos and pasta) in the same dinner. Sign me up! This is one dinner recipe that your family is sure to ask you to make again and again. Enjoy!
Taco Stuffed Shells
- 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells, cooked to al dente
- 16 ounces 90% lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- One 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup salsa, divided
- 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, diced red onion, sour cream and salsa (as desired)
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain well.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray the inside of a 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Add the beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the meat.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes (with juices), taco seasoning, and water. Cook uncovered until the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly until the meat isn’t too hot to touch.
- Spread half of the salsa in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the cooked pasta shells and arrange them in the prepared casserole dish. Spoon on the remaining salsa. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake until the shells are warm throughout and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. If you want to brown the top a little, remove the foil and broil for a couple minutes.
- Serve warm with desired toppings.
My whole family loved this! So easy!! Will definitely make again!!
I made this recipe specific to your instructions and it was outstanding- I used a medium heat salsa- will make this again- Great recipe
We had this last night and it was so delicious! Easy to make and it will last us a few nights!
I’m going to try this soon but wondered, can it be made ahead of time, refrigerated then baked when we want to have it for a meal?
That should probably work out okay!
I made this for dinner tonight for Father’s Day. It was a huge hit. Everyone asked for it to be added into our regular rotation of meals! Thanks for a great recipe.
Happy to hear, thanks!
I will be trying this very soon