Taco Stuffed Shells: A Flavorful Fusion of Mexican and Italian Cuisine


Get ready to embark on a culinary journey with Taco Stuffed Shells—an innovative and delightful fusion of Mexican and Italian flavors. This mouthwatering dish combines the best of both worlds, featuring jumbo pasta shells filled with a zesty and savory taco-inspired mixture, topped with melted cheese and all your favorite taco toppings. Taco Stuffed Shells are a fun and creative twist on traditional tacos, perfect for family dinners or gatherings with friends. Let’s dive into the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and valuable tips to create this irresistible fusion dish that’s sure to become a new favorite on your dinner table.


  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot, depending on your preference)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)
  • Sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, and chopped green onions for toppings

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Cooking the Pasta Shells

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the jumbo pasta shells and cook according to the package instructions until they are al dente.
  3. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Step 2: Preparing the Taco Filling

  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until fully cooked and no longer pink.
  2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet, sautéing until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
  3. Stir in the taco seasoning mix, following the instructions on the packet.
  4. Add the salsa, black beans, and frozen corn to the skillet, combining all the ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Step 3: Filling the Pasta Shells

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of the taco filling to coat the bottom.
  3. Carefully stuff each cooked jumbo pasta shell with a generous amount of the taco filling.
  4. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish, arranging them in a single layer.

Step 4: Baking and Topping

  1. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the stuffed shells, covering them evenly.
  2. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  3. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to achieve a golden-brown crust on the cheese.

Step 5: Serving and Garnishing

  1. Remove the Taco Stuffed Shells from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  2. Drizzle the sour cream over the top of the shells for added creaminess and flavor.
  3. Garnish the dish with chopped fresh cilantro and your favorite taco toppings, such as sliced black olives, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, and chopped green onions.

Tips for Perfect Taco Stuffed Shells:

  1. Be sure to cook the jumbo pasta shells al dente to avoid them becoming too soft and mushy after baking.
  2. Customize the filling with your favorite taco ingredients, such as diced bell peppers or jalapeños, for an extra kick of flavor and color.
  3. For a vegetarian version, omit the ground meat and use plant-based protein or additional black beans and corn.
  4. Consider using whole wheat pasta shells for a healthier twist on this dish.
  5. Serve the Taco Stuffed Shells with a side of guacamole, salsa, or a fresh salad for a complete meal.


Indulge in the exciting fusion of Mexican and Italian flavors with Taco Stuffed Shells—a delightful and inventive dish that’s sure to impress and satisfy. Follow the step-by-step instructions, incorporate the valuable tips, and enjoy the explosion of flavors in every bite of this creative fusion dish. Whether served as a weeknight dinner or a festive gathering, Taco Stuffed Shells will win the hearts of your family and guests alike. So, gather your ingredients, stuff those pasta shells, and savor the delicious combination of taco and Italian influences that make this dish a true standout on your dinner table.

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