Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Casseroles, Dinner, Make Ahead


18 uncooked jumbo pasta shells

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)

2 teaspoons chili powder

3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, cubed

1 bottle (16 ounces) taco sauce, divided

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided

20 baked tortilla chip scoops, coarsely crushed


Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cream cheese and 1/2 cup taco sauce until blended. Stir in 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into each shell. Place in an 11x7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining taco sauce.

Bake, covered, until heated through, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chips.

Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Top with cheese and chips as directed.


3 stuffed shells: 384 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 665mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 33g protein.