Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells

A Mexican spin on an Italian favorite! My family loves this recipe! I have cooked it for 9 years now. It freezes well, too!

Prep time: 20 min Bake time: 40 min

16 jumbo dried shells, prepared according to package directions, rinsed and drained
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
1 can (16 oz) Refried Beans
1 cup (4 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided (I admit,I use WAY more!)
1 jar (16 oz) Salsa, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350*. Cook beef in large skillet until brown; drain. Add seasoning mix and water; cook over low heat for 5 min or until thickened. Add beans and 3/4 cup cheese; mix well. Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of each of two 8-inch-square (2qt) baking dishes. Fill pasta shells with beef mixture; place half of shells in each baking dish, filled side up. Spoon remaining salsa over shells.

IF FREEZING: Cover one or both baking dishes with plastic wrap, then overwrap with foil. Label and freeze for up to 2 months (4 servings per baking dish)

COVER remaining baking dish with foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese. Serve with sour cream.

TO BAKE FROZEN SHELLS: Place baking dish in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 375*. Remove plastic wrap; recover with foil. Bake for 45-50 min or until heated through. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced green onions and 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Serve with sour cream.

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