Friday, March 8, 2013

Freezer Friday: Taco Stuffed Shells

The idea of taco stuffed shells has been marbling around in my head for months.  I love using these shells to keep food in (which sounds odd as the shells are a food in themselves), but until now, I've only put chicken stuff in them.  I pulled stuff out of my fridge/freezer and got to work making these using only what I had on hand.  I only made 27 shells total, but I will give you the amounts to make enough filling for an entire box of the shells (42).

Money shot?  Yummy yummy taco stuffed shells.
Taco seasoning ingredients of your choosing.  I use Taco Seasoning I from AllRecipes.

Seasoning mix pre-mixing.  I just swirl the ingredients around in the glass and dump it in the cooked and drained meat.

Speaking of meat:  Brown and drain 1.5 pounds of ground beef.  I love the flavor of the 25% fat beef and it was on super sale, so that is what I'm using.  I bought this almost from the cow in Alabama.

Add the taco seasoning mix and 1 cup of water to your meat.
Stir and allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.

Cast of Characters:  Oops.  A little late in the post.  ground beef, taco seasoning, water, jumbo shells (prepared according to package directions), black olives, salsa, cream cheese, fiesta blend cheese, and a mystery pouch.  The mystery pouch is taco sauce.  I sampled the contents of the package and I think it's gross.  I threw that out.  If you are a fan of taco sauce, by all means include it.
4oz softened cream cheese in the mixer

Add 1/2cup salsa (I used medium)

Black olives.  I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can never have too many olives.  I recommend 1/2 cup, more or less based on your personal preferences. I tend to buy whole black olives and slice them myself.  I actually just smooshed these with my fingers.  The mixer made them smaller for me!
So pretty!

Add the seasoned ground beef.  I didn't waste any time letting it cool.  Just dump it in there and mix it up.

Add 2 cups of fiesta blend cheese.  This is the entire 16oz package, so you may want to buy more cheese if you would like to top the shells with cheese before baking.  It's your choice.

Fill the shells with the mixture.  Done!
Taco Stuffed Shells

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 cup water
1 packet taco seasoning (or equivalent if using your own seasoning mix)
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups + more for topping fiesta blend shredded cheese
paprika for color

Preparation Instructions:
Prepare jumbo pasta shells according to package directions.  Drain and allow to cool.  Brown ground beef in a heavy skillet.  Drain the fat.  Return the cooked ground beef back to the skillet and add taco seasoning and water.  Stir and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture thickens up.  While the beef is simmering, mix cream cheese, black olives, and salsa together.  Add the seasoned beef to the bowl and stir to combine.  Add fiesta blend cheese and mix again.  Fill each shell individually with the mixture. 

Continue for freezer:  place shells on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Once sheet is full or you are out of ingredients, place baking sheet in the freezer and flash freeze for at least one hour. Follow below instructions for baking, except bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Continue for immediate consumption:  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Arrange the stuffed shells on a baking sheet. Top with more fiesta blend cheese and sprinkle with paprika for color.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Top with additional garnishments, if desired.

Additional garnishments, if desired:  Chopped green onions, crushed tortilla chips, taco sauce, salsa

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here (will open in a new window or tab). 

Enjoy the recipe and have a fabulous weekend!

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! I'll have to try this one. Have a great weekend!