Archive for the ‘What to Eat Wednesday’ Category

What to Eat Wednesday: Taco Shells

The mom of one of my high school friends actually made up this recipe and won a contest in a magazine. It’s become one of our favorite meals. It takes a little time, but the end result is worth it!

You will need:

2 lb. ground beef (or ground pork or ground turkey)Ingredients

1 box jumbo pasta shells

1 jar salsa

1 jar taco sauce

8 oz. cream cheese

2 envelopes taco seasoning

1 pkg. shredded cheese (I like cheddar or Mexican blend)

Tortilla chips

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350┬░.

Cook ground beef until no longer pink; drain the fat. I usually cook mine in the microwave in my Tupperware Stack Cooker – the colander insert drains the fat perfectly. My mom found mine on a garage sale, it’s the older model. I also have to give a shout out to my Pampered Chef Mix ‘N Chop. I use it almost every single day, it is the best thing for breaking up ground meat for cooking. (I don’t sell either one of these products, and I wasn’t compensated to mention them – I just really, really like them!)

While you’re cooking the meat, cook the pasta shells in boiling water. I think the original recipe calls for 24, but I usually use the whole box (around 30-32). Drain and rinse, and toss with a little melted butter if you like.

Grease the bottom of a large casserole dish. Pour in the jar of salsa and spread it around evenly.

After the meat is cooked, add the taco seasoning and water as directed on the package. Stir together and let simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cream cheese (I usually cut it into chunks so it melts faster) and stir until melted.

Your meat mixture should turn out something like this:

The original recipe calls for the meat mixture to be placed in the refrigerator for an hour to cool down, to make it easier to handle. I never think that far ahead. You can stuff the shells when the mixture is warm just as easily! Put a spoonful or two in each shell.

Place the shells in the pan on top of the salsa.

When the pan is full, pour the taco sauce over the top.

Cover the casserole and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Remove from the oven and top with crushed tortilla chips, as many as you like.

Cover the chips with shredded cheese. Put back in the oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Here’s how it looks in the pan:

And on the plate! It’s not the most photogenic dish, but it’s very tasty! Serve with a side of sour cream, if you like.

You can stuff the shells and freeze them ahead of time. When you’re ready to cook them, just take the shells out of the freezer, and add the salsa, taco sauce, and toppings as directed.

Happy eating!

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