Since discovering Pinterest, I've made a lot of the recipes I've pinned. I've had some definite hits. And there have been several Pinterest fails, as well. This one was a home run.
Taco stuffed shells is something I pinned early into my pinterest craze. When I was making it the other night, I was a little worried about it. As a back up, in case it was not something I wanted to serve my family, I had regular taco shells on hand. So glad I didn't use them!
While it's pretty standard to a regular taco, there are more differences than just "pasta shell instead of corn tortilla". Cream cheese is added to the filling. Which was awesome. In addition to the taco filling, salsa and cheese, I also love shredded lettuce and fresh tomatoes in my regular tacos. Since I couldn't bake those, I made them the base underneath my shells.
This was an awesome recipe to be able to put together in a snap. As a matter of fact, I even had the shells already cooked. When I made the Tuna Stuffed Shells, I only needed half the box. But I cooked the entire box and froze the half I didn't use. Just lay the shells out flat on a sheet pan, so they don't stick together. Put them in the freezer and when they are frozen, transfer them to a zip top bag. When you need them, just run them under hot water. This works with all pastas!
Nico and I loved this. Such a simple change of pace from our usual taco night routine, and it was like an entirely different meal.
Taco Stuffed Shells
from The Way To His Heart
1 lb ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
1 package low sodium taco seasoning
4 oz cream cheese
14 cooked jumbo pasta shells
1 jar salsa
1 cup taco sauce
2 cups shredded cheese, taco blend
3 green onions, diced
sour cream, diced tomato, and shredded lettuce for garnish
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef. Add the taco seasoning (and water if required), stirring to combine. Add cream cheese, and stir until cheese has melted and is fully incorporated.
Pour salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Stuff each of the shells with the taco filling. Place each shell, open side up in the pan. Cover shells with taco sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, add shredded cheese and bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.