Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Just look at all that cheesy taco-y goodness in a jumbo pasta shell!. Mexican stuffed shells are going to be your favorite dish to make for Taco night!

I was very tired today and really wanted to come home and take a nap. Instead, I ended up cooking and made three things. A frozen key lime pie, banana bread muffins, and this dish for Mexican stuffed shells. I am home alone this weekend and decided to make these Mexican stuffed shells since there was cheese on top and cream cheese in the middle. Boy let me tell you something, these Mexican Shells did not disappoint. I used lean ground beef and low fat cream cheese to keep these a tad on the lighter side. For garnish  used some tomatoes and parsley. One of the best pasta dishes I’ve made in a long time. Will definitely make this dish again.

 

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Recipe adapted from Like Mother Like Daughter

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican Stuffed Shells
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 TBS taco seasoning
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • about 8 oz jumbo pasta shells (some may break - I used 20 shells total but cooked 25)
  • 10 oz enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Boil your pasta shells for about 10 minutes until cooked al dente. Rinse shells when 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 the excess grease from the pan.
  6. Add in taco seasoning and stir to mix.
  7. Add in cream cheese and cook over medium heat until cheese is mixed in and melty throughout. Set aside.
  8. Combine your enchilada sauce and salsa in a small bowl.
  9. Pour about half of your enchilada sauce salsa mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread around.
  10. Fill each jumbo shell with a heaping 1 TBS of meat mixture and place into pan with sauce.
  11. Repeat until all shells or meat mixture is gone.
  12. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce salsa mixture over the tops of the shells.
  13. Wrap pan in aluminum foil.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove foil and top with cheeses.
  16. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Notes
8 PP per serving (3 shells for serving)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 323 Fat: 11.21g Carbohydrates: 32.27g Fiber: 2.4g Protein: 23.36g

 

Quinoa Lasagna

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One of my pet peeves when making lasagna is, that I NEVER have enough ingredients to fill a 9 X 13 in pan and that is what the recipe calls for. That always irritates me to know end. I decided to try an 8 X 11 baking dish this time and that worked way better. Now I am satisfied and can mark that down for future reference. :)

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve been making a lot of recipes with Quinoa recently. I had made some granola bars this past weekend and I never got to take a picture of them because Ben had eaten them all. They were one of his favorites. I think this by far is my favorite recipe I’ve tried using Quinoa. Who knew you could make lasagna with this hearty grain? The best part is there’s more protein in the quinoa which replaces the carb filled noodles you normally have with lasagna. Go ahead and give this one a try. You will be impressed this still tastes like lasagna!

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Servings: 8

Points Plus: 8

Ingredients

1 cup of Quinoa, cooked
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 jar of store bought marinara sauce
1 16 oz container of low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the 1 cup of quinoa in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water until all the liquid has
been absorbed. Set a side.

In a skillet, cook the ground turkey, until brown addd in your favorite jar of marinara sauce. I added
in a pinch or 2 of crushed red pepper flakes but that is optional.

While the turkey is cooking in the skillet, mix together the cottage cheese, 1/8 cup of part skim
mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and the salt and pepper.

When the turkey is done cooking begin layering all the ingredients together in a 8 X 11 baking dish. Half of the quinoa,
then the turkey and marinara mixture, and then cheese. Repeat this a second time, and
the last time top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork

You can never go wrong with one of Ree’s recipes. Every recipe I’ve tried of her’s, I just love. This one was so super simple and I threw everything into a slow cooker instead of a dutch oven. The pork roast cooked on high for 4-5 hours and it was ready. The meat was just falling apart when I shredded it and it was so tender. I served mine on some fresh sandwich buns that I got at Hornbacher’s grocery store here in town. Tomorrow I want to try this meat inside some quesadilllas.

If you’re on a diet, you can go ahead and use a can of diet soda. Make sure to remove all the fat. There was a really big piece of it that just fell off when it was done cooking and I just threw that away. 1 serving of this pork is about 8 points.  I used coke because that is the drink of choice in our house. It’s not too spicy either with the can of chipotle peppers in there. I’d definitely make this recipe again.

P.S. I’ve got to stop watching Food Network…. Instead of having my website be recipe-diaries.com I should just change my name to The Food Network Cooking Blog or something dumb like that. Yesterday I made Alton Brown’s fudge, today was Ree’s pulled pork, and tomorrow I’m going to make the peanut butter balls featured on Trisha Yearwood’s show. Am I addicted?

This isn’t the prettiest picture sorry. Just trying to show how tender it was. :)

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole pork shoulder roast (5-7 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper ((I used Coke))

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Step 2
Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Step 3
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.

Trisha Yearwood’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’m not a country western fan, but this soup might change my mind. This is Trisha Yearwood’s version of chicken tortilla soup. She had this on her show the weekend before Halloween and it looked really good, so I thought I’d give a try. All of her recipes that she makes looks really good, and she also sometimes will sing on her show. She has a really nice voice and she can cook.

This recipe might be my new go to recipe for chicken tortilla soup. The recipe makes a TON, so if you’re only making the soup for 2 people I’d half the recipe. I’m thinking about freezing the rest of it because there’s so much. One of the reasons I like this recipe is because it doesn’t call for a whole brick of velveeta cheese. It’s nice and creamy without that processed cheese. To make it lighter I cut back on the half-and-half and used 1% milk. You can also cut back on the butter a bit and use light butter. I’d make make this recipe again.

Servings: 10 (1 cup)

points plus: 8 (used 1% milk to figure nutrition info)

Calories 328, Fat: 10.3g, Carbs: 29.6g, Fiber 6g, Protein: 30g

Trisha’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 14oz cans chicken broth
  • 4 cups half-and-half (or low fat millk)
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless skinless (already cooked))
  • 1 15oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 15oz can corn
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 package fajita seasoning
  • 1 15oz can cream of chicken soup

Directions

Step 1
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and saute until softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the cream of chicken soup, salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and fajita seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Step 2
Crumble the tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with a ladle of soup. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and add a dollop of sour cream.

 

If you like Trisha Year Wood Recipes try the following….

Country Quiche

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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Key Lime Cake

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Or her Peanut Butter Balls!

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Lasagna Skillet

 

I have a new favorite recipe site. I’ve been pinning recipes like mad from food.com I think it’s a sister site of foodnetwork.com, because I see it linked on the bottom of theirs. You should check it out.. Oh yah, and the greatest part of that website is that they have nutrition info on there too. SCORE!

Lasagna skillet takes less than 30 minutes to make. It’s a lot faster than making the layered lasagna. The noodles cook in the skillet with the water and marinara sauce. There’s only one pan to wash in the end instead of 3 or 5 different ones. You can use your favorite store bought marinara sauce and mine just happens to be Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic marinara sauce. So good on top of anything. Make this version of lasagna instead, the next time your craving some Italian food. Use different types of sauces and meat to change it up.

 

Servings: 8

Points Plus: 8 (I used part skim mozzarella, part skim ricotta, and 95% lean ground beef to figure out the points)

Nutrition Info: Calories 492.6, Fat: 17.2g, Carbs: 63.2g, Protein: 20.1g, Fiber: 7g (from food.com)

Recipe from food.com

Lasagna Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 6 ounces curly lasagna noodles
  • 26 ounces store bought marinara sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Directions

Step 1
Cook meat in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes (until cooked through).
Step 2
Drain meat and return to skillet.
Step 3
Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 t. salt and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds -- do not burn garlic)
Step 4
Sprinkle broken lasagna noodles into the skillet, then pour in marinara sauce and water over the top.
Step 5
Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a vigorous simmer, until noodles are tender (about 20 minutes).
Step 6
Take the skillet off the heat source and stir in half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 7
Dot heaping tablespoons of ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Step 8
Dot heaping tablespoons of ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Step 9
Cover and let stand off heat until the cheeses melt (about 3-5 minutes).

Kid Friendly Pasta

The Food Network has been having new shows of the Pioneer Woman lately. She is one of my new favs. Ina still is in first place though, but I just love to watch her cook and learn about her life and family. Much more interesting than mine is anyway. On Saturday’s show she made this pasta. I wanted to make it right away since I had all the ingredients on hand. This pasta should be called Kid and Adult Friendly Pasta. You just don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this one. It has 3 of my favorite ingredients in there: cheese, bacon, and tomatoes. Can’t go wrong with that!

To make this pasta lighter, I used light mayonnaise and 1% milk. That was used to figure out the points plus value. If you really wanted to, you could use turkey bacon. I don’t really recommend that because I prefer the real bacon. This would be a great lunch time meal served with some fruit.

Oh yeah, go ahead and pin my recipes.  I don’t know if any one has noticed yet but I’ve placed a pin it button on every recipe. Happy pinning!

 

Servings: 8

Points Plus: 8

Calories 328, Fat 10.07g, Carbohydrate 39.68g, Fiber 2.4g, Protein 19.49g

Recipe from the Pioneer Woman

Kid Friendly Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12oz pasta (fun shaped)
  • 8 small slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved lengthwise)
  • 1/2lb cheddar (cut into small cubes)
  • 3 green onions
  • ground black pepper
  • 24 sprigs basil leaves

Directions

Step 1
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Then drain and rinse in cold water until cool. Set aside.
Step 2
Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and throw into a large skillet. Saute until slightly crisp, and then remove to a paper-towel-lined-plate.
Step 3
For the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, salt, and sugar if using in a small bowl.
Step 4
Stir together the pasta, dressing, tomatoes, bacon, Cheddar and green onions in a large mixing bowl. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Step 5

Stir in the basil at the end.

Taco Pasta Bake

 

I’m so glad that I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest. Yes, I know…. another pinterest recipe. If you haven’t gotten on this website yet, I suggest you do and take a look around. There’s all sorts of things to look at on there, and you don’t just have to be a girl to like pinterest. Pinterest can be for men as well.

There was nothing wrong with this recipe at all and I didn’t change a thing to it. However, the cream cheese I added in had scallions in it, and I didn’t know whether or not it enhanced the flavor of it at all. The next time I make this, I’m going to throw different taco toppings on top like avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes. That would make it even better. This dish almost reminded me of a taco mac and cheese. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again. :)

Taco Pasta Bake recipe from Canadian Moms Cook

Calories 310:  Fat: 10.57g, Carbs: 21.04g, Fiber: 1.1g, Protein:29.6g

Servings: 8

Points Plus: 8

Ingredients:

1/2 – 3/4 of a bag of large noodle pasta like ziti
approx. 1lb of ground beef
1 pkg/envelope of taco seasoning
1C water
1/2 pkg of cream cheese
1 1/2C shredded cheese (I used marble)

Directions:
1. boil pasta until just cooked, drain, run cold water over it
2. brown ground beef
3. mix together taco season and 1C of water, pour over cooked beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced
4. add the 1/2 pkg of cream cheese to the beef mixture, stir until melted and combined, remove from heat
5. put pasta in your casserole dish or pot, mix in 1C of the shredded cheese
6. top pasta and cheese with beef mixture, gently mix until the pasta is coated
7. top with remaining 1/2C of shredded cheese
8. bake at 350 uncovered for approx 30 minutes

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

I thought this casserole was way better than the Chicken Tamale Casserole I made about a week ago. I love the corn in this too and it’s very cheesy, very cheesy indeed. This casserole almost reminded me of a Mexican lasagna and the beef mixture had black beans, corn, and salsa in it. You get one really big  and filling slice for only 8 points. That’s not bad.

I ordered a new ice pop mold from amazon  and should be getting it this week sometime. I also ordered a cook book called Paletas. Be on the look out for some popsicle recipes coming soon!

Ingredients from Get off your Butt and Bake

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
1 large onion, chopped may also substitute onion powder
2 1/2 cups salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 1/4 cups frozen corn
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup sour cream
6-8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 ( 14 oz.) can Red Enchilada Sauce
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook meat and onion until meat is browned and cooked completely through.

Stir in salsa, black beans, corn, taco seasoning, cumin, and sour cream to the meat. until evenly cooked.

Spread 1/3 of meat mixture onto the bottom of the greased 9×13 baking dish.

Sprinkle 2/3-3/4 cup shredded cheese over the top of meat mixture.

Layer with 2 tortillas. If desired, break and trim a third tortilla to fill in any gaps.

Pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over the tops of the tortilla layer.

Continue layering as listed above until top layer is reached. End with toping the casserole with tortillas, last 1/3 of enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Be generous on the cheese :)

Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Serve with any toppings you would like.