Mexican Stuffed Shells
When you hear the word, “pasta,” do you immediately think Italian cuisine? I know I do. Spaghetti, linguini, penne, macaroni…
And then there are Jumbo Pasta Shells. For some reason, the word “Jumbo” doesn’t ring Italian with me. So I figured, instead of making something Italian with the Jumbo shells, I would try Mexican!
So glad I did.
Doesn’t that look delicious?! It’s some of your favorite taco ingredients served in a pretty little shell. Because hard taco shells are messy. Mine always fall apart and get all over my hands. But these, these are easy to eat…with a fork and knife. I suppose you could use your hands, but that would be…messy. And not pretty.
The whole family loved these Mexican Stuffed Shells.
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning (see notes)
- 4 triangles Laughing Cow Light cheese
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup taco sauce
- 3/4 cup light Tex-Mex cheese
- chopped green onions
- sliced black olives
- fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a skillet, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Add in taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Add Laughing Cow cheese and simmer until cheese is melted. Stir together. Set aside and let cool.
- While beef is cooking, cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside (set shells out individually on a non-stick baking sheet so that the shells don't stick together.)
- Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in baking dish open side up.
- Drizzle shells with taco sauce, cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake, uncovered for an additional 10 - 15 minutes.
- Serve with green onions, black olives, and Greek yogurt if desired.
To make your own taco seasoning: In a jar, combine 4 Tbsp chili powder, 3 Tbsp paprika, 3 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Store in pantry.
Alternatively, you could buy a package of low-sodium taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.
Some of the ways I’ve managed to make this recipe healthy:
- Used extra lean ground beef
- Made my own taco seasoning to cut down on sodium
- Used Laughing Cow Light cheese instead of cream cheese
- Use “light” shredded cheese
- Substituted non-fat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream
So the next time you feel like infusing some Mexican with a little bit of Italian, I highly recommend you make these.