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Alea’s Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells

Posted By Alea On April 26, 2011 @ 5:00 pm In Beans,Beef,Freezer Friendly,Pasta,Recipes | 13 Comments

My oldest child was born while my husband was deployed in the first gulf war. Our squadron’s support group organized dinners for me every night until my husband returned 4 weeks later. But that is not all. Whoever brought me dinner packed a lunch for me to enjoy the next day. Seriously.

I have been paying that amazing gift forward for the last 20 years.

One of my favorite dishes to take when a family needs a meal is Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells. One of the benefits of this recipe is that it makes enough for two 13 x 9 baking dishes, which means I don’t neglect my family when I am feeding another family. Another benefit is that, in a pinch, a new mom can pick the shells up and eat them like tacos while holding a baby in her other arm.

I don’t like waste, but this is one time where  I like to use disposable aluminum pans. Then the family I deliver a meal to does not have to worry about washing the pan or returning it.

Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 45 minutes


  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 teaspoons homemade taco seasoning [3] or 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans [4] or 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 12 oz. package jumbo shells
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup medium salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese


  • Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once it begins boiling add shells and cook according to the package directions.
  • While the water is heating, cook hamburger and onion over a medium flame until hamburger is browned.
  • Add taco seasoning, beans, and diced tomatoes. Be sure to add the juice from the diced tomatoes too. Simmer over low heat for for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat aside and let cool while the shells cook. Once the meat mixture is close to room temperature, add 2 cups of cheese and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce and salsa. Spoon 1/2 cup of tomato sauce mixture into each 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • After the shells have been drained, spoon meat mixture into each shell and place it in a baking dish.
  • After all the shells have been filled. Spoon 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce mixture over the shells in each baking dish. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over the stuffed shells in each baking dish.

  • Cover one baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

If you are taking this to another family, you can cover the dish with foil and put the baking directions on a sticky note on top of the foil.

This is also a great “cook one, freeze one”  meal. If you are not taking a meal to another family, cover one baking dish with plastic wrap and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator on the day you want to cook the stuffed shells for dinner.

I serve Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells with a garden salad and Mexican Rice [5].

Do you have a dish you share with friends when they are in need of a meal?

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URLs in this post:

[1] right into your inbox: http://www.5dollardinners.com/contact/get-emails

[2] get meal plans delivered to you each week: http://www.5dollarmealplan.com

[3] homemade taco seasoning: http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/

[4] cooked black beans: http://www.5dollardinners.com/how-to-cook-dried-beans/

[5] Mexican Rice: http://www.premeditatedleftovers.com/2011/04/mexican-rice.html

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