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!
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Easy Taco Stuffed Shells
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!
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!
How to Make Mexican Stuffed Shells
Scroll down for the printable recipe.
- Boil pasta. Boil the jumbo pasta shells according to package directions and then drain. Set aside for later.
- 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.
- Assemble and bake. Place half of the red 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.
Don’t forget to add on all of your favorite toppings before serving. Below are some topping ideas that would taste delicious:
- Sour cream
- Sliced olives
- Green onions
- Pico de Gallo
- Sliced jalapenos
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).
Other Mexican inspired recipes with beef we love include these beef tacos and beef enchiladas recipe!
More Easy Mexican Dinners
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Mexican Stuffed Shells
- 10 ounce package jumbo pasta shells
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup yellow onion , chopped
- ½ 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
- ½ cup monterey or pepper jack cheese
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Optional toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa
- 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 9×13" 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Made this for dinner tonight. My family loved it and said it’s a keeper for the recipe box. Will definitely be making again.
So happy to hear your family loved the recipe, Marci! Thank you for your comment and review :)
Just made these for the teenagers and they We’re officially “bussin “ and “slapped hard” !! I think given they are all gone that’s a great thing. Subbed ground chicken for ground beef and they didn’t know the difference! ❤️
LOL too funny! I’m so happy to hear they were a hit with your family, Elizabeth! :)
I usually use Italian flavours for the giant shells, so it was so fun to try something new and so delicious too. The whole family loved it!
This looks super delicious and tasty! So excited to make these! Definitely going to be a big hit here!
This is so delicious! How fun to take a traditional Italian food like shells and transform them into something much more Mexican! Great overall flavor and from a mom of young kids standpoint – really great for the kiddos!
I’ve made this many times (we LOVE it) but have never cooked in bulk enough to freeze any. Do you freeze with the enchilada sauce base/top and cheese, or just the shells and prep that part when ready to cook?