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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Italian Taco Stuffed Shells

Going to the grocery store has always been one of my most dreaded chores. It's a lot of picking things up and then putting them down. Just to pick them up and then put them down again. Followed by picking them up and putting them down again. Then, you add kids to that and it's even more picking things up and putting them down. It's just not my favorite. However, I love cooking for my family, and so I find myself needing to go to the grocery store fairly often.

One day, as a mom with smaller children, I thought it would be a good idea to make rich, cheesy, manicotti in pasta shells. I loaded up my kids into the minivan and we went to the store. We did an excessive amount of picking things up and putting them down.... and still managed to forget the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.

Feeling frustrated, but not ambitious enough to want to go back to the grocery store, I decided to try making stuffed shells into something new. Looking in the newly-stocked pantry, I found taco seasoning, corn, olives, and in the fridge I found ground beef, cream cheese, and Colby Jack.

I browned the beef, added the taco seasoning, cream cheese, corn, and olives. Then I spooned the mixture into cooked pasta shells. It smelled SO good. But, my goodness, it was not a pretty dish!

When I set it out on the table, my sweet husband looked at me nervously. But, seeing I was so proud of my creation, he scooped a generous helping onto his plate and took a bite. To his complete surprise (and mine, too, if I am being totally honest), they were INCREDIBLE!! The flavor was bold and had just the right amount of kick. Even the kids devoured the stuffed shells on their plates.

If you like tacos and you like pasta, this is the recipe you have been looking for. This is literally the best of both worlds. Richly seasoned ground beef mixes perfectly with salsa, and a blend of cheeses and is nestled in a tender pasta shell. It is a family favorite and one of my most requested recipes.

You will need:
2 lbs ground beef
one packet taco seasoning
1 8oz block cream cheese
1 can corn
1 can slices olives
1 box jumbo pasta shells
one can enchilada sauce
colby jack cheese

First, brown your ground beef, drain. Add taco seasoning, corn, and cream cheese. Stir until well incorporated. While browning your beef, start boiling the shells.

Pour a layer of salsa in a 9x13 baking dish. Once the shells and beef mixture are done, fill each shell with the mixture and arrange in rows. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for about30 minutes or until cheese melts.

We serve this dish with Knorr Taco Rice and a scoop of refried beans. Don't forget a dollop of sour cream! Delish!

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