Craving Italian? Or Mexican? How about both? These easy baked shells bring together the best of both cuisines; the spices of Mexican food stuffed into pasta shells that are reminiscent of baked Italian pastas. The recipe is adapted from Center Cut Cook is easy and guaranteed to fulfill your food cravings. So bake up a dish of these shells tonight. They are delicious as is but make even better leftovers the next day. Its like getting two meals for the price of one.
MEXICAN STUFFED SHELLS
1 pound lean ground beef
3 tablespoons taco seasoning (I like Penzeys‘ Bold Taco Seasoning)
20 jumbo shells, cooked according to package instructions
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups salsa, divided
Crushed corn chips, for garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Evenly distribute 2 cups of the salsa into the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch casserole dish. Set aside.
- Cook the shells in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
- Brown the ground beef in a large non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to break up larger chunks of meat. When the meat is no longer pink, drain off any excess fat.
- Add the taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water to the meat. Stir well and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the water has reduced and the sauce has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the cream cheese, 1 cup of the shredded cheese and the black beans. Stir to combine.
- Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the meat and bean mixture and place in the prepared casserole dish. Continue in this manner until you have used all of the shells.
- Drizzle the remaining salsa over the top of the shells then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the shells are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the crushed corn chips over the top of the casserole and serve.