Stuffed Taco Shells

Stuffed Taco Shells

Tacos and pasta combine to make a delicious, family-friendly dinner in these Taco Stuffed Shells.

Stuffed Taco Shells: Cooked pasta shells are stuffed with beef and ricotta and topped with marinara and mozzarella cheese in a traditional stuffed shells recipe. Taco stuffed shells are nothing like that. Shells stuffed with taco meat, topped with salsa and cheese, and baked until piping hot and oozing with melted cheese.

Ingredients required:
90% lean ground beef jumbo pasta shells

  • onion
  • red pepper
  • garlic
  • diced canned tomatoes
  • taco seasoning packet
  • salsa
  • the cheddar cheese
  • Jack cheese from Monterey
Stuffed Taco Shells

Taco Stuffed Shells:

Cook the pasta shells until they are al dente (a little bit of firmness to the pasta).

Prepare the taco meat. Cook the beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a skillet until the beef is browned and the vegetables are soft. Toss in the tomatoes, taco seasoning, and water. Simmer until the sauce thickens.

In the bottom of a casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup salsa. Fill the shells with taco meat and place them in the casserole dish. Spoon the remaining salsa over the taco shells. Sprinkle with cheese.

Stuffed Taco Shells

You can eat these taco-stuffed shells without any adornments, but I firmly believe that they are not complete until you add your favorite fixings! Shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped onion, sour cream, and possibly some guacamole are all good additions. When making traditional tacos, add whatever you like best.

Stuffed Taco Shells

What’s not to love about this? You get two of your favorite meals (tacos and pasta) in one meal. Please sign me up! This is one dinner recipe that your family will undoubtedly request again and again. Enjoy!

Taco Stuffed Shells

Tacos and pasta combine to make an amazing dinner.

Recipe Specifications

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Keywords: Pasta, tacos
  • Servings: servings
  • Calories: 538kcal


shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, diced red onion, sour cream, and salsa (as desired).


  1. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, as directed on the package. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, as directed on the package. Drain thoroughly.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Nonstick spray the inside of a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high to high heat, combine the beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until it is browned.
  4. Combine the diced tomatoes (with juices), taco seasoning, and water in a mixing bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Allow the meat to cool slightly until it is not too hot to touch.
  5. Half of the salsa should spread in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Fill the cooked pasta shells with the meat mixture and place them in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the remaining salsa. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the shells are warm throughout and the cheese is melted. Remove the foil and broil for a few minutes to brown the top slightly.
  8. Serve hot with desired garnishes.


What material are stuffed shells made of?

Stuffed shells are similar to Manicotti or Cannelloni in Italy. Stuffed shells are jumbo pasta shells that have been filled with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Pasta shells make excellent pockets for stuffing.

Do you stuff stuffed shells with eggs?

While the shells are cooking, make the filling by combining ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, as well as seasonings and an egg. Fill each cooked shell with the cheese mixture using a spoon or a piping bag. Arrange the shells on top of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.

Do you put an egg in the ricotta when making stuffed shells?

Filling: Ricotta

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, herbs, pressed garlic, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and seasoning. Mix everything thoroughly with a fork until all ingredients evenly distribute.

What’s the deal with my watery stuffed shells?

If you overcook the shells, they will tear when you try to stuff them, and the pasta will become mushy because it continues to cook while the stuffed shells bake. Remove the shells from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cool water to stop the cooking.

How long should large shells be boiled?

Cook uncovered for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, for pre-bake cooking time. Drain and cool on a baking sheet. Fill shells with desired recipe and bake. OR, to serve with your favorite Barilla sauce, boil for 12 minutes uncovered and drain well.

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