Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

"raid the pantry" shells-n-cheese taco casserole

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Kelly Williams
Forked River, NJ

It was one of those, "use up what we've got" nights, when I threw this casserole together! Luckily I thought to write everything down as I went along, because it turned out so good I make it on purpose now! LOL!! Just a quick, easy-peasy weeknight meal! Nothin' wrong with that! ;) :D Add/omit what you like, just have fun! Could easily be made whith shredded rotisserie chicken as well. :D Enjoy! (Photos by me, oldies though!)

★★★★★ 1
serves 6-8
prep time 5 Min
cook time 40 Min

Ingredients For "raid the pantry" shells-n-cheese taco casserole

  • 1 1/3 lbs.
    hamburger, can sub shredded rotisserie chicken if preferred
  • 1/4 tsp.
    each: salt & pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp.
    each: garlic powder, chili powder and cumin
  • 1/2
    of an onion, chopped
  • 1
    (1 1/4 oz.) packet taco seasoning mix, or homemade
  • 1/3 cup
    picante sauce
  • 2/3 cup
  • 1
    (14 1/2 oz.) can delmonte original stewed tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 (12 oz.)
    box velveeta shells & cheese
  • 3 cups
    sargento shredded 4-cheese mexican blend cheese, can sub sharp cheddar
  • paprika
  • 1/2 tsp.
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped fresh tomato
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • sliced or chopped black olives
  • jalapeno rings
  • finely sliced green onion
  • additional shredded cheese
  • hot sauce

How To Make "raid the pantry" shells-n-cheese taco casserole

  • 1
    In deep frying pan, cook beef (lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin), and onion til done. Drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning, picante sauce, water and stewed tomatoes. Break up tomatoes. Simmer at least 10 minutes til water has evaporated and sauce is thickened. Meanwhile, in saucepan; make shells and cheese according to package directions, using lowest time alotted for cooking of shells. Fold shells and cheese mixture into beef mixture. Pour into greased casserole dish. I used a 1 ½ quart glass baking dish just slightly smaller than my 13x9 one. Top evenly with shredded cheese. Sprinkle cheese with paprika. Sprinkle lightly with oregano using about a 1/2 teaspoon. Bake in 350º oven, uncovered for 20 minutes, or til hot . Serve topped with any or all "Toppings of Choice".
  • 2
    Serve with a nice salad if desired!