Taco Stuffed Shells

Friday 24 July 2020

The last time I made this Taco Stuffed Shells was back in 2001 when my oldest and youngest sons had come over here to the UK to visit me. They gobbled it up. It uses large pasta shells instead of the traditional Taco Shells.

As a family we had always been very keen on Mexican flavours.  This was one of my boys favourite meals.  It came from  my Big Blue Binder, which was a binder filled with recipes which I had collected through the years.  It is filled with recipes collected from family, friends, newspapers and magazines and has been travelling around with me wherever I go.

It is stuffed to overflowing now as it is filled with my collections of a good 45 years or more. 

And I still collect  . . . what can I say. I am a foodie through and through!

For this recipe you create a delicious spicy meat sauce, with taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, salsa, onion, jalapeno peppers and lean ground beef . . .

I stir in a bit of sour cream and some cheese as well which gives it a touch of creaminess. I stuff this mixture into cooked large pasta shells.  I love the large pasta shells. They are great stuffed and baked with just about everything!

Some of the sauce went into the bottom of the baking dish  . . .  then I placed the stuffed shells on top . . .

Spooning the remainder of the sauce over top of the stuffed shells and scattering grated cheese over it all.

Finally I add a layer of crushed tortilla chips to add a bit of crunch.  You have to add a bit of crunch when you are talking tacos!

You cover it and bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes, then uncover it and bake it for a while longer, just until everything is bubbling away and the cheese has melted.

These are fabulous served with your favourite taco toppings!

Whatever you enjoy on a taco, you can enjoy on top of these!  Today it was sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped spring onions, grated cheese (I know more cheese!), chopped tomatoes and sliced black olives!

These are really delicious. You could serve a salad on the side, but because of the salad like toppings we didn't bother.  Children really love these, but then again, so do adults!

Taco Stuffed Shells

Taco Stuffed Shells
Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
All the flavours of your favourite tacos, stuffed into pasta shells and baked. Spicy, cheesy, meaty.  What more could you ask for?


  • 170g jumbo pasta shells
  • 340g lean ground beef  (12 ounces)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and minced
  • 140g taco sauce (5 ounces)
  • 115g salsa (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 envelope of taco seasoning mix
  • 3 TBS sour cream
  • 1 green jalapeno chili, trimmed, deseeded and minced
  • 200g shredded jack or cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
  • 1 small bag of tortilla chips crushed
  • Your favourite Taco toppings to serve


  1. Cook your pasta shells according to the package directions in lightly salted boiling water. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.
  3. While they are cooking add the ground beef to a skillet along with the onion and green chili.  Dry scramble until cooked through and starting to brown. Remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and salsa together in a bowl.   Stir 3/4 cup of this mixture into the ground beef, along with half the cheese.
  5. Butter an 8 by 12 inch baking dish.  Spread half of the enchilada sauce/salsa mixture into the bottom of the dish.  Stuff the shells with the meat mixture and place them into the baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce mixture over top.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the crushed tortilla chips over all.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Serve hot with your favourite taco toppings.
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I had to laugh at Todd.  When he was done all that was sitting on his plate was the empty pasta shells. He said they were too chew.  I beg to differ . . .  but hey ho. We each have our likes and dislikes. His just happens to be pasta.



  1. What a great idea! Less messy too than filling shells every time you want another. I think my family might like these. {They adore tacos!} I'll give them a try. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. This was a clever idea - we love pasta and love tex-mex flavours (thanks to you!) and so this appealed straight away. It was very easy to prepare and while it baked, I assembled our toppings - spring onion, lettuce, sliced black olives, chopped jalapeno, chopped cherry tomatoes, some sour cream and a tiny bit extra grated cheese (you can't have too much cheese).

    A very tasty meal and one we both enjoyed.


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