Thursday, November 8

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Here's an interesting twist to traditional tacos. I like to experiment with different ideas so my meal plan doesn't become boring or predictable. We all are taco lovers in this house and Spencer and I love our pasta too. We thought these were delicious. They certainly won't replace tacos or Italian stuffed shells but they will be a fun way to have both at once.

1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
12 large pasta shells
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
sour cream, to garnish

In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain. Add taco seasoning packet and let simmer 7 - 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Add cream cheese, stirring to blend as it melts. Set aside when done and let cool completely. (or it gets quite messy!)

While beef is cooking, make pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and toss with butter. Let cool along with beef.

When beef and pasta have cooled, evenly distribute salsa on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff each pasta shell with meat mixture. Place the shells on top of the salsa and cover with taco sauce. 

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove from oven and cover evenly with the crushed tortilla chips and both cheeses. Cover again and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Cool slightly and serve with additional chips, sour cream or any other topping you may want.

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