Taco stuffed shells

Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

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  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (for each casserole):
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 green onions, chopped


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Transfer to a bowl; cool. Chill for 1 hour.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Gently toss with butter. Fill each shell with about 3 tablespoons of meat mixture. Place 12 shells in a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To prepare remaining shells, spoon salsa into a greased 9-in. square baking dish. Top with stuffed shells and taco sauce. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and onions.
  • To use frozen shells: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours (shells will be partially frozen). Spoon salsa into a greased 9-in. square baking dish; top with shells and taco sauce. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with cheeses and chips; proceed as directed.
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This was delishious!! I made as written but added chopped onion and a can of black beans to the meat

I halved the recipe because we only had one pound of hamburger in the fridge. I was able to stuff full 12 manicotti pasta pieces with the hamburger mix instead of the pasta shells called for. (There were 14 in the package so I stuffed the remaining two with shredded cheese.) My favorite Mexican restaurant in Oak Harbor WA tops their enchiladas with Parmesan cheese so I add that to my baked dishes as well, on top of the shredded Colby cheese and green onions. I used all the other requested ingredients. This dish was a big hit and will be in frequent rotation. It’s a lot more work than my super fast lazy chicken tacos (just sliced chicken mixed with salsa and shredded cheese melted on top) but I think it’s worth it.

I divided this into 1/4 to use leftover ground beef and cream cheese that I had. It was the perfect size for just my husband and I. I think I was able to get them into 9 shells without there being way too little in each shell. I made everything else as-is, except I lowered the butter to 1/2 tbsp instead of the full one. I thought this was very tasty! I also liked having some extra taco sauce leftover so we could add more afterwards if we wanted. Really enjoyed this and will be making it again.

Finally made these for the first time and we can’t wait until I make them again. Didn’t change a thing. Perfection!!

Very good. I just made the entire recipe at once in a 13×9. Next time I would reduce the taco sauce a bit. It was too much all at once.

Great recipe. I also added refried beans to the meat to act as a binding agent and to add more protein.

These were a big hit at our house. I’m looking forward to using the rest of them when I need a convenient, healthy meal.I am always looking for ways to add more veggies to my meals. To this I added diced onion, celery, and red bell peppers. With the additional bulk I had left over filling.I used a cookie scoop to fill the shells, it worked very well.

At our house we call this Pastaco. My daughter chose these for part of her graduation party which was a Mexican menu.

This is a go-to recipe for me – great way to make lots of lunches ahead of time too!

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