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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Taco Stuffed Shells

I would have to call this meal Tex-Mex/Italian fusion. It's a satisfying combination of Italian pasta and Tex-Mex taco meat smothered in cheese with salsa in place of the marinara sauce.

I've tested a few recipes for these shells. I've used enchilada sauce, black beans and corn, salsa, taco sauce, chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, you name it and I have finally settled on this recipe as the perfect balance between Aaron's taste and mine. Personally I like it with the black beans and corn and with the enchilada sauce. Aaron prefers chicken and taco sauce. We compromised with ground turkey and salsa.

I did use a recipe that I originally found on Like Mother Like Daughter, but I have adapted it so much that it's not really their recipe anymore so rather than calling it adapted I'm saying it was inspired by Ellen and Aimee.

Taco Stuffed Shells

Source: inspired by Like Mother Like Daughter

20-25 pasta shells
1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or a packet of taco seasoning)
1-1 1/2 cups taco sauce or salsa
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain them and rinse in cold water then set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x9 baking dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside.

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the meat is cooked through add the taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4-1/2 cup taco sauce or salsa. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.

Pour a small amount of taco sauce or salsa into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, just enough to coat the bottom.

Carefully spoon the meat mixture into the shells. A big thanks to Aaron for helping me with this picture.

Arrange the shells in the baking dish.

Spoon some more salsa or taco sauce over the shells and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Serve warm.

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