Saturday, November 12, 2011

Enchilada Stuffed Shells

I can't remember coming across this recipe; but it has been in my must-try folder on my computer for a while. Pasta and Mexican flavor together sounded so delightful and definitely something different.

I modified the original to incorporate extra spice with more onion, more cumin and the cayenne pepper. As I have mentioned Husband and I like spice and I used mild enchilada sauce; so I wanted to make sure there was plenty of flavor. I have been meaning to try some homemade enchilada sauce but for this recipe I used the canned and it was good.

Canned refried beans aren't my favorite; though I do love refried beans and beans in general. I substituted some black beans I smashed with a fork as I wanted the texture and flavor of beans without the mushiness of canned refried beans. I thought it worked very well.

Adapted from


8-10 Jumbo Pasta Shells
½ pound Ground Beef Or Turkey
1 (10 ounce) Can Enchilada Sauce
¼ cup Minced Onion
¼ tsp Dried Oregano
¼ tsp Dried Basil
½ tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Refried Beans Or Smashed Beans
½ cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese Or Mexican Blend Cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. I made a few extra as it was hard to tell how many shells I could fill with the meat mixture.

 In a large skillet over medium heat brown meat until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Stir in onion, oregano, basil, cumin and pepper. Stir in refried beans. Set aside.

Coat an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour half of the can of enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom. Using a small spoon fill the cooked pasta shells with the meat/ bean mixture and place the shells facing up into the bottom of the dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tops of the shells making sure to coat the meat mixture of each shell.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, uncover and sprinkle the tops of the shells with cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted.

Serve immediately, spooning some of sauce from the bottom of the pan over the shells if desired. I did as evidence by the picture. :-)

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