How to make taco-stuffed shells in a casserole

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Taco night or pasta night? Both dinners are satiating and all-around delicious, but if the kids can’t agree on what they want for the evening’s culinary festivities, why not bridge the gap and suggest this spectacular taco-stuffed shells casserole? This brilliant meal has everything that you want in a taco dinner, all comfortably packed away in tender pasta shells and baked to perfection alongside melted cheese and freshly picked cilantro leaves. Need we say more?
With only eight basic ingredients needed to produce this quick family meal, you’ll be thanking us dearly for saving you some pennies with this recipe! This is also a fantastic dish to prepare with your little ones helping, as the kids can spoon your delicious taco filling into the jumbo shells and sprinkle the cheese on top before you place it in the oven to bake. Dinner always tastes better when there’s a bit of help involved.
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Cooktop Cove
taco-stuffed shells
4
20 minutes
20 minutes
40 minutes
24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound (450 g) ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
14-ounce (386 g) can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces (226 g) diced fresh tomatoes (plum or cherry work well)
8 ounces (226 g) grated cheddar cheese
½ bunch fresh cilantro, stems chopped and leaves picked
1 ounce (28 g) taco seasoning
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta shells as per package instructions. Drain and reserve to one side.
Place the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Brown the beef along with the taco seasoning and cilantro stems. Mix in the can of crushed tomatoes and half of the cheddar cheese. Remove from heat and set to one side.
Lightly grease the bottom of a casserole dish. Place the cooked jumbo shells in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Using a tablespoon, fill the pasta shells with the beef filling. Sprinkle the diced plum tomatoes, cilantro leaves and remainder of the cheddar cheese over the stuffed shells.
Cook the casserole in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Pro tip: For a touch of crunch on the final plate, we recommend serving this tasty dish with a topping of freshly shredded romaine lettuce!
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