Recipe for Taco-Filled Pasta Shells on Food Friday

Two recipes today on Food Friday as a reward for your patience during my move this week!  I’ll post the second one separately, because I want to get this one up for you! (Second Food Friday recipe is Spinach-Citrus Salad!  Yum!)

This is such a fun and tasty twist on Stuffed Pasta Shells.  We love Mexican food and Italian and this is a combination of those two favorites.  I also like it because it makes 2 casseroles!  This makes it easy to have one in the freezer for another meal–a time-saving idea that is one I use frequently.  Mess up the kitchen once, have 2 dinners prepared! Let me know how you like it!

I also want to apologize because this blog has been in a “Construction Zone” this week!  If you’ve experienced unusual things happening and pages not found and messy-looking posts with elements missing, I sincerely apologize for your inconvenience. Usually these things don’t happen when you move from Blogger to WordPress, but they’re happening to me (and to you) and I apologize for your inconvenience! Please hang in there with me, ok? I sincerely appreciate your patience and ask you to keep coming back. We are working on getting everything fixed as quickly as possible! And now, here’s your first recipe!

Recipe for Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

Yields:  2 Casseroles (6 servings each)

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef

2 envelopes taco seasoning

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed

24 jumbo pasta shells (1 box)

1/4 cup butter or margarine; melted

—–Additional Ingredients which will be added to each casserole—-

1 cup salsa

1 cup taco sauce

1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese

1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips

1 cup (8 oz) sour cream (optional)

3 green onions; chopped (optional)

Directions:

In a skillet, cook beef until no longer pink; drain.  Add taco seasoning; prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese; cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until melted.  Transfer to a bowl; chill for 1 hour.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Gently toss with butter.  Fill each shell with about 3 tablespoons meat mixture.

Place 12 shells in a greased 9-inch square baking dish.  Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.  To prepare remaining shells, spoon salsa into a greased 9-inch square baking dish.  Top with stuffed shells and taco sauce.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses and chips.  Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through.  Serve with sour cream and onions.

To use frozen shells:

Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours (shells will be partially frozen).  Remove from dish.  Add salsa to dish; top with shells and taco sauce.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Uncover; continue as above.

Enjoy!

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