They’re not pretty, but these stuffed shells are absolutely delicious. They are from my Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics cookbook, probably my favorite of all my cookbooks. They’re not the standard shells stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture and marinara sauce, they’re kind of tacoey.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Makes 6 servings


  • 12 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup taco sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ taco sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup crushed corn chips
  • 1 medium green onion with tops
  • ½ cup sour cream


  1. Boil the pasta shells uncovered for 11 to 13 minutes until tender. Drain.
  2. Peel and chop the onion. Cook the ground been and onion over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain.
  3. Stir the chili power, cream cheese, and ¼ cup taco sauce into the beef. Heat over medium-low hear 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat oven to 350º. Spray a 8-or 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Fill the pasta shells with the beef mixture, usint about 2 tablespoons for each shell. Place filled shells in the pan. Pour ½ cup taco sacue over the shells
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle the Colby-Monterey Jack cheese and corn ships over the shells. Bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Peel and slice the green onions. Garnish pasta shessls with sour cream and green onions.

I actually took the picture before we added the sour cream and green onion. I was lucky to get a picture at all; we just devour these. Confession time: I actually boil some extra shells, in case any rip, and because after I’ve filled the 12 or 13 I fit in the pan, I use the extras to scoop out any more of the filling left in the skillet and eat it right then. Yummy!

This is the best cookbook I own. Actually, I have the first edition, this is the second, but I still think it’s great for any young person just starting out on their own. When I first started cooking, I really had no idea what I was doing. No, my mom didn’t teach me. I’m sure she would have, but I just wasn’t interest until I was an adult. This cookbook was perfect. It has full-proof recipes, and I’ve liked all the ones I’ve tried, from the shells to the pork chops with apples to the desserts. They’re good and easy to do. I also like that it has some basics, what equipment you should have, how to cook pork chops, even how to make scrambled eggs. Yes, I needed directions. And I still use the recipes on a regular basis.

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

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