Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

With the move behind us and everything put away it was time to get down to business and start having people over for dinner again.  I can't seem to go more than a week without having friends over for dinner before I start to get a little fidgety.  

Since I have started working at a school I have had one of the greatest bonuses that an job could offer....SPRING BREAK BABY!!!  That's right, I get a week off in the spring without having to take any vacation, personal time or sick's pretty much amazing!

With the start of spring break pending I thought there would be no better way to kick start my week than to have a few friends over for dinner.  With that in mind I began to ponder what I could make.  Since I had re-pinned this recipe on Pinterest recently and received an enormous amount of re-pins I figured it had to be worth trying!

I decided to try it with both ground sirloin and ground turkey.  After taking a very scientific survey, it was pretty much a 50/50 split on whether people liked the sirloin or the turkey more so choose your poison but know they are both delicious!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning 
4 ounces cream cheese
20 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup taco sauce 
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese

For toppings:
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a pan brown the ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. 
Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Stir together and mix well. 
Set aside and cool completely.
While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board or baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
Pour salsa on bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Evenly cover shells with taco sauce. 
Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes with the foil removed. Top with green onions or olives if desired. Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

 So much fun having friends over for dinner!  Tess even finally became friends with Michael!  For those of you who don't know Tess, she is a rescue and doesn't make new friends often! 
This was a big day for Michael!!
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