Cheesy Taco Pasta shells are creamy, comforting, and full of flavor. I’m always testing recipes that my kids will like and eat, especially for my picky daughter. I made a similar taco pasta here, which they love, but wanted to throw together a quicker version that I can get on the table in less than 30 minutes. Because lets face it, when your family is hungry, shortcuts are your best friend! This dish is also an ode to my college days where I lived on hamburger helper and cup of noodles. Now I know the box stuff is full of bad things, so I feel a hundred times better feeding my family pasta that’s made from real ingredients. I currently don’t eat dairy, but I did have a taste to make sure the flavors were good, and it tasted amazing! I ended up making a dairy free version for my self and omitted the cheese, and it was still really good!A shortcut I used for this Taco Pasta is store bought enchilada sauce. Find a good brand that you like and don’t be ashamed to use this hack! I like this brand in particular since sometimes I get a metallic taste from the ones in a can. Then to make the pasta a little ‘healthier’, I added fresh tomatoes, avocado, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. My kids devoured it! Even my husband, who isn’t a fan of hamburger type pastas, loved it too. Win Win for this mama!You could make this dish in one pot if you wanted to save time on dishes, but I boiled the pasta in a separate pot, then cooked the ground beef mixture and combined them after both were cooked. I’ve also made this dish with macaroni elbows, which my kids also love, but I like how the shells catch the cheesy beef mixture. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or double the recipe and store the other half in the freezer. I love this shortcut of freezing leftovers so my family doesn’t get tired of having the same diner 3 nights in a row. Then I just let the bag thaw overnight and reheat in the oven or stovetop. What are some of your favorite dinner shortcuts?
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The enchilada sauce I like:
Cheesy Taco Pasta Shells
Pasta shells with Taco Meat and loaded with Cheese for an ultimate comfort meal.
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 4 oz Cream Cheese cubed
- 12 oz Pasta Shells cooked to al dente
- 8 oz Red Enchilada Sauce I linked my favorite brand above
- 1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
- Optional toppings: Tomatoes, Avocado, Green Onion, Cilantro, Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
Cook pasta shells just till al dente. Brown ground beef in a large skillet or dutch oven. Season beef with Taco Seasoning, and add cubed cream cheese. Mix until cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Once pasta shells are cooked, drain, and add into ground beef mixture. I also add about half a ladle of the pasta water. Then add Enchilada sauce and combine.
Turn off the heat and add shredded Mexican cheese blend. Stir until cheese is melted.
Serve with optional toppings of Tomatoes, Avocado, Green Onion, Cilantro, Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
You can use any type of pasta your prefer, I've also made this with macaroni elbows.
Double the recipe and store the leftovers in a freezer bag once cooled. To eat, have the bag thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm in microwave, oven, or stovetop.