These Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Shells make the perfect family-friendly weeknight meal! You’ll love the creamy filling, sauce, and melted cheese topping!
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Do you need a break from Thanksgiving leftovers? I know some people (like my husband) aren’t super crazy about leftovers. I, on the other hand, don’t mind them at all. Leftover stuffing and cranberries? Bring it on.
But even I get tired of leftovers after a little while. If you are tired of turkey and green bean casserole, these Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Shells are an easy, family-friendly meal you can make to break up the monotony!
These Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Shells adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything are a spin-off of classic Italian stuffed shells. Sort of like a taco in pasta form!
Now I know that this is not “authentic Mexican” food. But that’s okay, because they are so, so good. Instead of being stuffed with Italian sausage and covered with an Italian red sauce and mozzarella, these tender shells are stuffed with a creamy, flavorful taco-style beef filling, placed on top of a layer of salsa, then topped with taco sauce and Colby Jack cheese.
More Mexican-Inspired Dishes You’ll Love:
- Instant Pot Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup
- Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Beef Enchilada Pasta
Baked to perfection, they become a delightful dish of melty, cheesy goodness with just the right amount of spice. And while they look pretty impressive, they are actually quite simple. They’re very easy to assemble and throw in the oven.
If you are freezing them, prepare them according to the directions until the point of topping with cheese. Instead of putting the cheese on now, put the cheese in a zip-top bag and add it to the freezer so you’ll have it handy later.
Wrap the pan well with plastic wrap and foil, to prevent ice crystals from forming. When you’re ready to bake them, thaw and remove the plastic wrap, then proceed with the remainder of the instructions.
You can also bake them in individual ramekins for fun single-serve options (like I have pictured) if you want to!
Because these are so easy and make a great weeknight meal, they are a great option for your weekly meal plan!
I have no problem devouring these plain. In fact, I prefer them that way. But if you want, you could definitely top them with sliced avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, or whatever your heart desires.
Serve them with a side of black or refried beans and enjoy!
Have you tried themed meal planning? These would be great for “Taco Tuesday” or “Mexican Monday.” Get your themed meal planning starter kit below!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 4 ounces whipped chive cream cheese
- 18 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese (I prefer hand-shredded for better melting)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Brown the ground beef. Drain if necessary.
- While ground beef is browning, cook the pasta shells according to package directions. Set shells aside to cool on a paper towel once cooked.
- Add taco seasoning and water, preparing according to package directions.
- Add cream cheese and simmer until completely melted. Set aside to cool a bit.
- Pour salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish (or two 8x8 dishes if preferred).
- Stuff each shell with 1-2 Tbs of meat mixture. Place shells in the pan, open side up.
- Pour taco sauce over the shells.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove foil and top shells with shredded cheese. Return shells to the oven, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
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