Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells

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Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells made with jumbo pasta shells, salsa, cheese and taco meat are the perfect EASY weeknight meal that you can prepare ahead of time too!

Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells made with jumbo pasta shells, salsa, cheese and taco meat are the perfect EASY weeknight meal that you can prepare ahead of time too!Taco Stuffed Shells are an easy dinner of stuffed jumbo pasta shells with ground beef. With just the addition of taco seasoning, salsa and cheese your family will be asking for this dish to go in your regular rotation. This is the XL take on my super popular Cheesy Taco Pasta!

I love using either my Guapo’s Famous Fresh Pico de Gallo in this recipe or incredibly easy, store bought jarred salsa. You can also swap out the salsa in this recipe in a 1 to 1 ratio with my favorite Homemade QUICK Enchilada Sauce to make them taco stuffed shells with enchilada sauce.

If you’re looking for alternate to the shredded cheese or to mix things up a little you can absolutely make the taco stuffed shells with velveeta or nacho cheese as well. Even better you could just double the shredded cheddar cheese and have the ultimate cheesy taco stuffed shells.

Or if you want something a bit different you can also make my Mexican Stuffed Peppers with all the taco flavors but none of the pasta!

5 Ingredient Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells are an easy weeknight meal!

LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT CHEESY PASTA DISHES? LOOK NO FURTHER:

Thinking of some other stuffed shells ideas?

  • Pepperoni Pizza stuffed shells with marinara sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella.
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed Shells with the Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheels filling and baked with alfredo sauce.
  • Philly Cheesesteak stuffed shells with the Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes filling but with double the cheese!
  • Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells with chicken nuggets, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Done in just 30 minutes and with five ingredients, you'll love these Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells!

Tools Used in the making of these Taco Stuffed Shells:
Jumbo Pasta Shells: Make sure you buy these and not the large ones. Also, husbands may inadvertently think “large” is the right size…not saying mine did that! 😉
Jarred Salsa: Cuts the prep time down to just a couple of minutes and the flavors are still outstanding.
Taco Seasoning: I’ve use my homemade taco seasoning recipe if you’d prefer not to use a packet. This is the packet I’d recommend if not using homemade.

Recipe

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Taco Stuffed Shells

4.91 from 10 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Taco Stuffed Shells made with jumbo pasta shells, salsa, cheese and taco meat are the perfect EASY weeknight meal that you can prepare ahead of time too!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups jarred salsa divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the pasta shells in a pot according to the directions on the box and drain.

  3. Add the ground beef to the pot and brown well.

  4. Drain the fat.
  5. Add the taco seasoning and water, stir and cook until water is gone.
  6. Stir in 1 cup salsa and 3/4 cup cheese.
  7. Scoop into the jumbo pasta shells and top with the remaining salsa and cheese.
  8. Bake in a covered pan for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 497 calories, Calories: 497g, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 644mg, Potassium: 534mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 10.3g, Vitamin C: 1.5g, Calcium: 18.1g, Iron: 14.4g

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Keyword: Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells
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Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells made with jumbo pasta shells, salsa, cheese and taco meat are the perfect EASY weeknight meal that you can prepare ahead of time too!
5 Ingredient Cheesy Taco Stuffed Shells are an easy weeknight meal!

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

Categories:

Beef Recipes Main Course Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Pastas Recipe

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Comments

  1. Literally just finished making this for the hubby and stepSon. Not as easy as everyone made it seem, however I am definitely not a cooker so maybe that’s my issue. Lots of hand work… all in the dish lol. I am vegetarian, so I substitute black beans for beef on mine… (made 2 separate pans) but still follow everything exactly. In the end came out amazing! Lovely dish! Yummy delicious! Will try again. Thank you for sharing 😉

  2. Just finished making this! Very easy to make and extremely yummy! I used 3/4 of a yellow onion prior to cooking the meat and then used sour cream while eating the stuffed shells. While cooking, I was panicking thinking I did not have enough shells, I ended up having extra shells! Next goal, use chicken instead of beef! The cheesy taco stuffed shell is a good idea as an appetizer for a party since it makes so much and they are small.

    *If anyone has tried chicken instead of beef, did you do anything different outside of the recipe? *

    Thank you Sabrina! Just followed you on Instagram, cannot wait to find something new to try!

  3. This recipe is THE BOMB!!

    I loved the taste of the salsa with the cheddar cheese. So when it was time to cover them in salsa, I made cheesy salsa instead and then put it on top of the stuffed shells and then sprinkled the remaining part of cheddar. Amazing!

  4. These were very good but I only ended up using about half of the box of shells and an 8×8 pan. Next time I’ll double the filling part and use a 9×13 pan. It was delicious.

  5. I made the cheesey taco bake and my boyfriend loved it ..so easy to make …were gonna put salad on top with sour cream …yum yum…

  6. Making this tonight! I don’t have salsa or diced tomatoes so I’m doing it EXTRA simple. Except tonight I am going to lightly drizzle Taco Bell Mild Sauce you buy from the store, Fire for the Mr., for a little kick over the taco seasoned meat and cheese. We like our spices!
    Can’t wait to try it out tonight.

  7. I made this tonight… I had high hope’s but my end product looked nothing like yours. I made it exactly but drained my meat as it appears you dont? I’m out on whether I’d make it again. ?

    1. Oh, bummer. I’m not sure what else would’ve made it different besides draining the meat. If you want to troubleshoot, send me an email at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com

  8. This was amazing! I made it using your homemade taco seasoning recipe to season the meat and instead of salsa, which I didn’t have, I added diced tomatoes to the meat mixture, then I made your homemade enchilada sauce (which is SO GOOD) and used it in place of salsa. I made enough for two 8×8 pans. One to freeze and one to eat! It was so full of flavor! Wish I could post a picture. So dang good! Thanks for the winner recipe!

    1. Love that you were able to customize it! You can always post a picture to your instagram and use the hashtag #dinnerthendessert . So glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Made these stuffed shells for dinner last night. They were a success! Everyone in the family loved them. They requested I make extras next time.

  10. I’ve mad these before but I also melt a block of cream cheese into the beef mixture before stuffing the shells!

  11. Looks Yummy!! cant wait to make it!! beside jarred salsa can I use any other brand of salsa?? also I seen someone mention pico salsa is it pico de gallo or a brand name pico salsa? will love to know!

    1. You can use any type of salsa you’d like. 🙂 I haven’t tried it with pico de gallo yet. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what you think.

  12. My family loved this!!!!I made this dish on Saturday and they are already asking for an instant replay!Problem: I intend to double the recipe. There was only enough to stuff half of the shells.The ” save for later” that I poured over the entre dish was too skimpy too, so next time I plan to use two pounds of ground beef (grass fed) and two jars of the pico salsa that I used. That tasted so good!

  13. These were surprisingly good. Much better than I expected from the listed ingredients. It’s a keeper for us and will be made frequently. Thank you, Sabrina.

  14. This looks amazing. I’m going to give it a try. If you were to make this in advance would you freeze it? and if so how would you bake it to reheat. This looks like a great alternative to lasagna for new moms or those friends you want to help out in a hard time.

    1. What a great idea! This one might be a bit trickier to make ahead and freeze but if I were doing it, I would make it up to step 6 and then freeze. When delivering it to someone, I would give them a bag of cheese and jar of salsa with instructions on how to finish. Tell them to pour the salsa over the frozen shells and bake for 25 minutes, then top with the cheese and bake an additional 5 min. Hopefully this makes sense.

  15. I’m currently making this, only I am changing/adding some stuff to it. My family doesn’t care for salsa (I do!) so instead of adding salsa or tomato, I am making this with mild cheddar cheese with a velveeta cheese sauce to cover each of the shells. It looks simple enough to make, and I do believe this will be a hit at our home!

  16. Sooo easy to make! Made me look like I actually knew what I was doing in the kitchen! I? made my test batch for me and my friend as written above. But I? wanted to cook this for my whole family and I have a large family so I doubled the Recipe. I ended up with extra shells with no stuffing. But it worked out because I didn’t have to use any torn shells. But I added 1/3 cup of sour cream in the meat the second time I cooked it. It made it a little more difficult to stuff the shells because it was a little more runny. But it tasted amazing!