I came across the recipe for Taco Stuffed Shells a few months ago. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about combining taco meat with pasta shells… but after long consideration, I decided to adjust a few ingredients to my own taste and give it a try.
After all, this recipes has all the makings of a delicious recipe! Here are the ingredients that I chose to purchase to make this recipe. Other recipes may call for different brands etc, but generally… it is safe to go with brands that you know you like and are familiar with. For me, that is McCormick Taco blend for the seasoning, Barilla for the pasta shells, Lucerne Mexican four blend cheese, Lucerne cream cheese, Jennie-O ground turkey breast, and a hot salsa fresca. Jennie-O Turkey is actually 1.25lbs… so you get a little bit more for the money.
1.25lb Extra lean ground turkey breast (you can use beef or chicken)
12oz. box of Jumbo Shells (you will not use them all)
1 packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning
2 cups of Mexican 4 Cheese blend
2 cups of hot salsa
4oz of cream cheese (cubed)
Cook pasta according you package instructions for pre-bake (usually a few minutes less than a full cook). Drain, and lay each shell face up on wax or parchment paper to cool without sticking together.
Cook turkey until brown and add McCormick according to package and cook. Add cubed cream cheese and cover to allow cream cheese to melt, then stir to combine, turn of gas and let meat mixture cool down.
In a 9×13 glass baking dish add 1 cup of the salsa to the bottom of the pan.
Start adding about 1-2 TBSP of meat to each shell and arrange into your pan. (I ended up with 5 rows of 5.
Once shells are full, top each one with the remaining salsa.
Cover, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, add the cheese, and return to the over for 15 minutes to melt cheese.
Serve with sour cream, avocado, sliced olives, hot sauce… or any of your favorite toppings.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe was. It didn’t take much time… and it was rather delicious. Christopher mentioned more than once how much he enjoyed this meal. My friend Jennifer also agreed that this was a good recipe. I would like to try it with the ground beef, and using taco sauce for the topping instead of the salsa. All in all this recipe gets a thumbs up in my house and will very likely be made again!
If you give this recipe a try let me know what you think. Also if you have any variations or similar recipes… please feel free to share. I look forward to hearing from you.