I love the giant pasta shells. I think they are so cute and “up” the presentation factor when serving a pasta dish. They are a little more time consuming, but so well worth it, I think. I have stuffed the shells with cheese, ground beef and Italian stuff, Italian sausage and Italian stuff, and chicken and dressing. Recently I decided to stuff them with beef and enchilada stuff.
This dish makes 20 shells so is a good dish to take to a potluck as one shell a person is plenty for that type of occasion. If making for a potluck, I would add 1/2 c. sliced ripe olives. I leave the olives out if cooking for hubby. At home, this is a great one-dish meal needing only sliced tomatoes or a side salad to complete dinner.
I make my own Enchilada Sauce, but 2 (10 oz.) cans can be substituted. I cut the corn for this from a leftover cob of corn, but would use frozen if I had not had the leftovers. Any kind of bean can be used for this. I just choose to use pinto. I had some “going stale” tortilla chips so I crushed them and added them to the top. This is entirely optional but does add a nice little crunch to the dish.
I am sure that they would freeze well, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Beef Enchilada Stuffed Shells
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/2 c. frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (15 oz.) pinto, kidney, black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Enchilada Sauce (see recipe below)
20 large pasta shell, cooked according to package directions
1-2 c. Mexican Blend Cheese or 1 c. each cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 c. crushed corn or tortilla chips (optional)
Brown ground beef with onion, red pepper, and garlic. Drain if necessary. Add corn, beans, cream cheese, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and 2/3 c. Enchilada Sauce. Let cook 10-15 minutes. Cool beef mixture slightly. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons beef mixture into each cooked shell. Place in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle each shell with some of the cheese. Pour remaining Enchilada Sauce over the shells. Top with crushed chips. Cover, bake 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove cover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer. Let set a few minutes before serving. Makes 10 servings of two shells each.
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce, can rinsed with 1 can water
1 1/2 c. additional water
1 T. minced garlic
1 to 2 T. chili powder (I only use 1)
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, adding 1 can water to tomato sauce can to rinse it out. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Linking to Hunk of Meat Monday