Mexican Stuffed Shells

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    Easy Mexican stuffed shells filled with a cheesy beef mixture full of spice and flavor. A fun twist on the traditional recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights! 

    If you love the classic cheesy ricotta stuffed shells, you are going to love this delicious variation. The Mexican flavors add a fun twist and taste delicious paired with the jumbo pasta shells. You may end up liking these more than the tradition version!

    taco stuffed shells on plate

    These taco stuffed shells are sure to become a staple recipe at your house. They have a delicious and cheesy filling with a little bit of spice. Eat them as-is or load them up with your favorite toppings. We love to top them with fresh salsa, sliced olives, guacamole and sour cream. They make the perfect weeknight meal and are freezer-friendly as well. So easy and yummy!

    assembling mexican stuffed shells in baking dish

    How to make Mexican stuffed shells

    Scroll down for the printable recipe.

    1. Boil pasta. Boil the jumbo pasta shells according to package directions and then drain. Set aside for later.
    2. Cook filling. Meanwhile in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, bell peppers and onions. Drain any excess grease, then mix in green chiles, taco seasoning, cream cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Once the cheese has melted, gently stir in black beans.
    3. Assemble and bake. Place half of the enchilada sauce on bottom of 9×13″ pan. Then fill each shell with 1-2 Tablespoons of meat mixture. Place shells in pan and pour remaining enchilada sauce on top and then sprinkle with cheese. Bake covered with foil at 350°F for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly.

    Favorite toppings

    Don’t forget to add on all of your favorite toppings before serving. Below are some topping ideas that would taste delicious:

    taco stuffed shells in baking dish

    Tips + modifications

    • This is the perfect dish to make if you have leftover taco meat to use up from a previous meal.
    • You can swap the beef for shredded chicken if you prefer.
    • Using freshly grated cheese makes the dish super bubbly and delicious. Pre-shredded bags of cheese don’t melt as well.
    • Feel free to add in extras to the beef filling mixture, such as corn or rice.
    • If you want to make a smaller amount, divide the recipe between two 8×8″ dishes and freeze one for later (instructions below).

    Make ahead + freezing

    To make in advance, assemble the dish according to directions and then place in a freezer safe container (do not bake). Store in freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight. Then bake in oven until warmed throughout and cheese is bubbly on top (you may need to cook for a couple of extra minutes since they were frozen).

    close up of mexican stuffed shells with toppings

    More easy Mexican dinners:

    mexican stuffed shells

    Mexican Stuffed Shells

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: mexican stuffed shells
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Total Time: 45 minutes
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 420
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Easy Mexican stuffed shells filled with a cheesy beef mixture full of spice and flavor. A fun twist on the traditional recipe that's perfect for busy weeknights! 

    Ingredients

    • 10 ounce package jumbo pasta shells
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1/2 cup yellow onion , chopped
    • 1/2 cup red bell pepper , chopped
    • 4.5 ounce can chopped green chiles
    • 1 ounce package taco seasoning
    • 4 ounces cream cheese , at room temperature
    • 15 ounce can black beans , drained
    • 10 ounce can red enchilada sauce
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup monterey or pepper jack cheese
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 350°F.
      • Boil pasta shells according to package, drain and set aside.
      • Meanwhile cook ground beef, bell peppers and onions over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Drain any excess grease and then stir in green chiles, taco seasoning, cream cheese and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Once cheese has melted, gently stir in the black beans.
      • Place half of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" pan. Then fill each shell with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of meat. Place the shells in the pan and then pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes with foil and then 10 minutes without foil, or until cheese is hot and bubbly.
      •  Top with fresh cilantro and desired toppings.

      Notes

      If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd, place half the batch in a freezer safe container before you cook them and store in freezer. When ready to eat, pull them out to thaw before cooking. You may need to cook an additional 20 minutes as well.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1072mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1300IU | Vitamin C: 21.9mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 3.7mg
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