Monday, January 14, 2013

Taco Filled Pasta Shells (Freezer Meal)

Taco-Filled Pasta Shells Recipe

Not quite a new recipe for me but a favorite and the first time I'm sharing it with you all. No personal pictures this time but the actual thing turns out VERY close to the picture on Taste of Homes site. That said, the recipe is from one of my taste of home cookbooks (not sure which) but you can find it HERE as well.

Here is my version.


2 lbs ground beef
2 envelopes of taco seasoning
1.5 cups water (roughly)
8 oz (1 package) of cream cheese, cubed
1 box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1/4 cup butter, melted

Additional ingredients for each casserole: (3 total)

1/2 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce to drizzle (more or less to your taste)
2 cups of taco blend shredded cheese
Sour cream on side


The Meat - 
Brown the meat until no longer pink; drain.
Stir in taco seasoning and the amount of water called for on the package.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in cream cheese until melted
Transfer to a bowl to cool. Original recipe indicated about an hour. I didn't wait that long. :P

The Shells - 
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Gently toss with butter.
Fill each shell with about 3 tbsp of meat. I used a service spoon instead of measuring spoons.

Here is where results will vary. When I did it last night, I came out with 34 total but think I could have easily come out with 36 if I was paying more attention. I divided the batch in thirds and had 3 meals.
At this point you can freeze as many as you wish. You can fit 12 in an 8x8 pan nicely with 3 rows of 4 shells. You could also combine 2 portions into a 9x13 pan I would think. If any of this is as confusing to you as it is for me to write, feel free to shoot me a question!

Assembling the Meal- 
Spoon salsa into  an 8 or 9" square baking dish
Top stuffed shells with taco sauce. I just drizzled my desired amount over top. It was a little less than a cup.
Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I forgot to cover but they turned out just fine.
Uncover; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake another 15 minutes or until heated all the way through and cheese is melted.
Service with sour cream


These are absolutely amazing and well worth the 1.5 hours of making them so having the extra freezer meals of them is awesome. These will definitely be made over and over again too.

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