Mexican Stuffed Shells

These Mexican stuffed shells are a fun twist off of traditional Italian style stuffed shells, usually filled with a mixture of cheeses and topped with marinara sauce and again with mozzarella cheese. Instead these shells are filled with a ground beef and cream cheese mixture, cooked in a bath of enchilada sauce and salsa topped with cheddar cheese.

Mexican Stuffed Shells Its also fun and delicious to eat your taco styled meal inside pasta shells instead of the typical tortilla.   Mexican Stuffed Shells

I know Nate and I both loved this meal because we both started with a few shells to eat and kept going back for one or two more probably another two or three times to enjoy their delicious flavors.



Mexican Stuffed Shells
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 TBS taco seasoning
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • about 8 oz jumbo pasta shells (some may break - I used 21, but started with 25)
  • 10 oz enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Boil your pasta shells for about 10 minutes, or until cooked al dente according to package directions. Rinse shells when they're done cooking.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile cook up your ground beef and onions over medium high heat until cooked thoroughly.
  5. Drain excess grease from the pan. Add in the taco seasoning and stir to mix.
  6. Mix in the cream cheese and cook until the cheese is melted throughout. Set aside.
  7. Combine your enchilada sauce and salsa in a small bowl.
  8. Pour about half of your enchilada sauce salsa mixture into the bottom a 9x13 pan and spread around to cover.
  9. Fill each jumbo shell with a heaping 1 TBS of meat mixture and place into the pan with the sauce.
  10. Repeat util all the shells or meat mixture is gone.
  11. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce salsa mixture over the top of the shells.
  12. Wrap pan in aluminum foil.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove foil and top with cheeses.
  15. Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 Enjoy this delicious twist of Mexican stuffed shells topped with sour cream!

Mexican Stuffed Shells


If you like these stuffed shells, you might also like these:

One Pot Chicken Enchilada Pasta

chicken enchilada pasta 3

25 of Our Favorite Mexican Food Recipes

25 favorite mexican

Mexican Stuffed Peppers


Mexican Pizza



  1. […] Wednesday: Mexican Stuffed Shells […]

  2. What happened to the list of ingredients?? I pinned this awhile ago, but when I came back here to make it today, the only ingredient in the list is ground beef?!

    1. So weird! I’m not sure what happened! Working on fixing it right now!

  3. I love this recipe!! Its delicious. Any suggestions for making it gluten free, since they don’t sell gluten free shells? Thanks!

    1. Kerri, I haven’t dealt a lot with gluten free cooking, so I’m not sure what a substitution would be. Can you find gluten free manicotti shells?

      1. Hi! I would love to try this recipe but did not know what you meant with enchilada sauce and salsa? Which ones in particular do you use for this recipe?

      2. I use any brand of enchilada sauce that is the cheapest, I usually use red mild sauce you can find it in the hispanic foods section. And I usually use pace salsa, but any brand should work fine!

  4. I made this last night and used a mixture of chorizo and ground beef (instead of just beef). Delicious!

    1. Sounds delicious! Glad you liked it!

  5. Delish. I used1/3 less fat cream cheese and 2% shredded cheese and they were still amazing. I made them Sunday and here on Friday my husband is already asking to have them for dinner tonight!

    1. So glad you liked it! I often use neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese in recipes too. Glad you liked it in this one!

  6. I bet these would taste yummy with retried beans inside too

  7. Corrine · · Reply

    Just made it using veggie ground instead of beef, delicious!!

    1. So glad you liked it and made it work for you Corrine!

  8. carmen Ana Cruz · · Reply

    I Used garden cream cheese and ground sausage,yummy

    1. Glad you liked it Carmen. I’ll have to try that next time!

  9. Thank you! I def. will, but it may be be a little while!

  10. We’ve made this a couple times and LOVE it! I’m looking to make it & freeze it for future use, but am new to freezer cooking. Would you freeze this meal before or after baking?

    1. Thanks Whitney! So glad you like it! I haven’t frozen this dish yet, but when I freeze other similar pasta dishes it usually is when I have leftovers so I usually bake it like normal then freeze it. But if you are just wanting to make a bunch for later I think it would work no problem to freeze it before baking. I would then let it thaw overnight before baking in the fridge and bake the same way. (Though if its still cold it may take a little longer.) Let me know how it goes for you if you try it!

      1. Hi Aimee! Ended up pulling these out of the freezer sooner than anticipated – my husband requested them specifically! I made them without baking first and kept the cheese in a freezer bag ontop the pan. I defrosted overnight, then baked according to the original instructions & they turned out perfectly!

      2. So glad to hear! Thanks so much for letting me know! And love hearing how much you and your husband like them, yay!

  11. Brittany · · Reply

    So beyond excited to try this! Just came out the oven and it looks amazing. Thanks for the recipe! I forgot cream cheese so I added a little milk and velveeta block cheese instead. Fast, easy and relatively cheap to make for a college student. :)

    1. Adding velvet instead is a great idea, I bet it was still delicious!

  12. I have some ground sausage with bacon. Do you think that would be ok in place of ground beef?

    1. It would add a little bit of a different flavor, but I bet it would taste really good!

  13. I just made these with a slightly healthier twist and they were still delicious! :) I’m glad I found this recipe!

  14. Stephanie · · Reply

    Any suggestions for a side dish?

    1. I’d suggest some vegetables like corn, or maybe black or refried beans. Also I think you’d like our southwest chicken rolls which can be a side dish and would be tasty along side these shells!

  15. I made this tonight. It was amazing. I did make some changes. I used about 2 pounds of meat, 8oz cream cheese, and a 28oz can of enchilada sauce. I didn’t add the mozzarella, instead I used the cheddar cheese and a Mexican blend cheese. When I served the dish I topped it with lettuce and tomato. Even my 7 and 4 year old enjoyed it. I will defiantly make this again. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I’m so glad you guys liked it Carla! I love the idea of adding lettuce and tomato on top. Will definitely try that next time!

  16. Rose you could use the white Velveeta cheese. It would still leave it creamy and the white Velveeta isn’t as salty tasting as the yellow when cooked with enchilada sauce.

  17. Could be used with manicotti shells too!

    1. Great idea Joanie!

  18. DeLynn Burdon · · Reply

    How many does this feed?

    1. It should feed 8.

  19. Rose powell · · Reply

    I don’t like cream cheese. What would be a good substitution?

    1. Sorry I just saw this comment Rose, I’m not sure what to substitute cream cheese, you could leave it out the filling just won’t be creamy.

  20. Letty Gonzales · · Reply

    Ok thank you…….can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  21. Letty Gonzales · · Reply

    Can it be made with the med shells? They don’t sell the jumbo shells in our grocery store…….

    1. You won’t be able to stuff as much inside of the medium shells, but it should definitely still work – you just might have a little extra filling.

  22. Looks yummy. Love these one dish dinners!

  23. do you use just the seasoning from the taco mix or do you add water to it also? Like youre making tacos.

    1. Just the seasoning.

  24. This recipe is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.

  25. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!!! I altered it by using the whole box of shells (because I’m lazy and don’t want to count out shells, haha) and adding another pound and a half of ground beef. I even shoved the broken pieces of pasta shells in between the stuff ones so nothing is wasted.

    1. So glad you liked it and made it your own! That’s my favorite part of sharing recipes :)

  26. Could this be made ahead of time and frozen?

    1. Yeah you could, I think I would keep the noodles al dente so that they don’t get overcooked and mushy when you reheat it.

  27. Lee Saah · · Reply

    Do you know how many calories per serving or how many grams of fat?

    1. I don’t know if this is exact, but I have this recipe on my recipe magic and here’s the nutritional info, if you click the nutrition tab.

  28. Allison Murcray · · Reply

    This meal is absolutely delicious!

    1. So glad you liked it!

  29. Amber Fronczak · · Reply

    What kind of salsa

    1. Any salsa that you like should work. I used pace medium salsa.

  30. Debbie young · · Reply

    These were delicious!!! My daughter loves pasta and Mexican food. So easy and fast. Thank you!!!!

  31. Oh wow! I may have just died and gone to Heaven. These look so fantastic! I want to make them now!

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