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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Last week I had a half box of jumbo shell pasta staring at me every time I opened the pantry cupboard. These are normally reserved for Italian style stuffed shells, but this time I mixed up a different filling and prayed that it would taste good.

God must have been listening as they tasted pretty darn good!

Think of it as the creamy filling of an enchilada tucked inside pasta instead of a tortilla.  Once you wrap your head around it, it makes sense!

Lately, I've tried taking Mondays in prepping a few meals for the week.  I am at home on Mondays and so is the husband, so it gives me another hand around the house to rally the kids and keep them busy.  This past Monday, the little guy was in school in the morning and the husband took the little miss on a little adventure, therefore I had 4 HOURS ALL TO MYSELF.

I prepped this meal, along with another one I'll be showing you soon.  This allowed for the three days I do work outside of the home, to come home to dinner already prepped with only having to turn on the oven. So refreshing....try it!

I'm also about 10 weeks or less from having baby #3.  My mind has been dreaming up some freezer meals to start prepping as well.  Usually, I'll try and stock the freezer with easy meals {lasagna, soups, pizza pockets, breads, casseroles, homemade frozen pizzas, etc.} so that when we come home and our minds are consumed with feedings and diapers, all on little to no sleep, I can easily set out something in the morning and have it thawed by dinner.

Sometimes my mom helps, sometimes I get together with a girlfriend and have a power cooking session - but just like my last two babies, this third one will also come home to a stocked freezer.

Not that she'll be eating any of it, but I will, which in return will go to her.....so, yeah, I guess she will be eating it!

This dish is a keeper and is easy to assemble, so I do think it will be going on the list for when the baby comes.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Print this Recipe!

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can Rotel, diced chilis and tomatoes
1 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz. cream cheese
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 t. chili powder
25 jumbo pasta shells
1 c. salsa

1.  In a large stockpot, fill with water and bring to a boil.  Drop in jumbo shells and cook till al dente, or with a bite, do not over cook.  Remove, rinse with cold water and set aside until ready to assemble.
2.  In a large skillet or sauce pan cook the ground beef and onion together until meat is done and no longer pink, draining off any excess grease.
3.  To the meat add in Rotel, black beans, cream cheese, 3 oz. cheddar cheese and chili powder.  Stir to combine, until cheeses are melted.
4.  Pour salsa into a large baking dish, 9x13.
5.  Stuff cooked shells with meat mixture and place in the bottom of the baking dish.
6.  Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese.
7.  Bake, covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

*If making as a freezer meal, omit topping with additional cheddar cheese until right before baking.  Place shells in a freezer safe baking dish or foil baking dish.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then foil.  Label and date.  Will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Would you like to comment?

  1. These look really good. I have a chicken broccoli shell recipe I love to make and this one would be another great way to use those shells up that are hanging out in my pantry, too. Thanks!

  2. Kara Hoerr @ RD in the MidwestMarch 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    I love the new use of the jumbo shells! I love enchiladas and I love jumbo shells, so it's a perfect combo!

  3. That looks delicious - love the spin on making shells Mexican! Weee - baby #3 will be here before you know it!

  4. Kelli @ The Sustainable CoupleMarch 3, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    It might sound silly, but every time I make something with these jumbo shells (or those big manicotti noodles), I feel really fancy. Like Giada fancy. With my $2 noodles and ricotta cheese. HA!