Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells for #FoodieExtravaganza

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays by cooking and baking together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Sue from Palatable Pastime invited us to share something in honor of National Noodle Month!

See all of our tasty noodle dishes!

Foodie Extravaganza

Noodles: It’s National Noodles Month

This is an easy and flexible stuffed pasta dish - next time I think I will make more of a tomato based sauce to pour around the noodles for additional moisture - but I loved the flavors of this one. Change up the cheese to use what you have, use your favorite taco seasoning (or homemade) and salsa to impact the heat level, add some cumin or garlic powder if you think it needs it. There's plenty of wiggle room with this one to make it your own!

You'll probably have a handful of leftover cooked pasta shells if you make the full 12-oz box, enjoy those the next day with another fun filling, or chop them up and throw them in some soup!

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

8 oz uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 24 shells from 12-oz box)
1 lb lean ground beef 
1 medium onion, finely diced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup cotija cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook noodles per package directions. Drain, and set aside to cool to room temperature (or cool enough to handle) while you prepare the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup of the salsa around to bottom of the baking dish.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef with the onion until tender and cooked through (8-10 minutes). Season lightly with salt and pepper while cooking.
  5. Add the water and taco seasoning and stir until well blended and bubbling lightly.
  6. Stir in remaining 1 cup of salsa, and 1/2 cup of cotija cheese. Taste and adjust flavors if needed (flavors will depend on the taco seasoning and salsa used - feel free to add additional cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, etc. depending on your taste preference).
  7. Stuff the shells with the beef filling mixture and arrange (open side up) in the baking dish.
  8. Optional - for additional moisture, pour a can of diced tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes (for additional "kick") around the pasta before sprinkling with cheese.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheddar cheese.
  10. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. 
Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert


  1. I don't make stuffed shells often enough. I will have to fix that!

  2. Like tiny tacos but in pasta! What a fun idea, Rebekah!

  3. Wow! cheesy and looks addictively delicious!

  4. Give me all that cheese! This sounds amazing!

  5. This sounds like a fun alternative to the usual cheese stuffed shells. I love getting creative with Tex-Mex flavors and this one looks perfect.

  6. Ooooh I was so excited when I saw that you were going to post this. It has been way too long since I have made stuffed shells. They look so good!

  7. This is on my to do list, looking at this delicious dish, want to make this soon, simply love it!!


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