What are taco stuffed shells?
They are jumbo pasta shells filled with taco meat, refried beans, and cream cheese. Instead of spaghetti sauce, we use salsa and then the whole casserole is topped with cheese and tortilla chips. Yum!
This recipe calls for ground turkey, but ground beef can easily be substituted if you prefer.
How to make taco stuffed shells?
Start by spreading a casserole dish with salsa.
Add the stuffed shells.
Layer with more salsa.
Sprinkle with tortilla chips (my kids’ favorite part).
Finally, top it with cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes and you’re left with a comforting and filling meal that will please your entire family.
How to make a lighter version of this stuffed shells recipe?
If you want to enjoy this comfort food casserole while cutting the calories, try this:
- Use ground turkey as instructed in the recipe
- Switch the refried beans for black beans
- Use reduced-fat cream cheese
- Use reduced-fat cheese for topping the casserole
Those simple changes will help cut the calories on this recipe while still delivering the delicious taco flavor!
- 12 oz. box jumbo shells
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup taco seasoning or 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup refried beans
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 2 cups chunky salsa
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese blend
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
- Cook shells according to package directions.
- Once shells are done, drain and spread them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool.
- Meanwhile, brown your ground turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Once brown, sprinkle the taco seasoning and water over the top of the meat and stir until combined.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
- Let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Mix in the refried beans and cream cheese. Turn off the heat.
- Spread 1 cup of the chunky salsa on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Fill each shell with the meat mixture and place opening side up in the casserole dish.
- Once all of the shells are filled and arranged, sprinkle the shells with the additional 1/2 cup salsa.
- Top the salsa covered shells with the tortilla chips and then the cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
- IF FREEZING: Cover with 2-3 layers of foil, label, and freeze. To Bake: defrost overnight in your fridge and add 10-15 minutes on your baking time. If baking from frozen, add 30-45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 513
This recipe for taco stuffed shells is a family favorite that we make again and again! What is your favorite taco-style recipe?