Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe (Italian & Mexican Flavors)

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this mouthwatering Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe! This delightful dish combines the flavors of Italian and Mexican cuisine for a truly unique and flavorful experience. With jumbo pasta shells filled with a spicy and cheesy mixture, this recipe is not only easy to make but also incredibly satisfying. Prepare yourself for a fusion of flavors that will leave you craving more!

Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • Make a flavorful Italian-Mexican fusion dish with this Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe.
  • Enjoy the best of both worlds with jumbo pasta shells filled with a spicy and cheesy mixture.
  • Prepare the filling using a combination of Mexican flavors like cumin, garlic, and green enchilada sauce.
  • Bake the stuffed shells with more enchilada sauce and cheese for a gooey delight.
  • Garnish with scallions and serve as a main dish or a standalone meal option.

The Ingredients

To create this delicious Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe, you will need a variety of flavorful ingredients. These include:

  • Jumbo pasta shells
  • Olive oil
  • White onion
  • Green chile
  • Chicken
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Queso fresco
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Scallions
  • Green enchilada sauce

Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious blend of flavors in this fusion dish.

“The right ingredients are like the key players in a symphony, each adding their own notes to create a delicious melody of flavors.”

Cooking the Pasta Shells

One of the key steps in preparing this Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe is cooking the pasta shells. Follow these instructions to ensure perfect pasta shells that are firm to the bite:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the jumbo pasta shells to the boiling water and cook them until they are al dente.
  3. Al dente refers to the desired texture of the pasta, where it is still slightly firm to the bite.
  4. Once the pasta shells are cooked to the desired texture, drain them in a colander.
  5. To stop the cooking process and cool the pasta shells, rinse them under cold water.

By cooking the pasta shells al dente and rinsing them with cold water, you ensure that they will be the perfect texture for stuffing and will hold up well during baking.

Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the brand and size of the pasta shells. Refer to the instructions on the packaging for more specific cooking guidelines.

Troubleshooting Tips:

If you find that the pasta shells are too soft after cooking, you can try cooking them for a shorter time or reduce the water temperature slightly. On the other hand, if the shells are too firm, you can extend the cooking time or increase the water temperature slightly. Remember to always check the texture of the pasta shells by tasting a piece before removing them from the boiling water.

Preparing the Filling

Creating the filling for these Enchilada Stuffed Shells is where the magic happens. Start by sautéing the chopped white onion in a pan until it becomes softened and aromatic. The sautéed onions will add a delicious flavor base to the dish.

Next, it’s time to add the green chiles, shredded chicken, cumin, garlic, and seasonings. Allow all the ingredients to cook together, blending their flavors into a mouthwatering combination. The sautéed onions, along with the added spices, will infuse the chicken with a savory taste that perfectly complements the richness of the cheeses.

Transfer the cooked chicken mixture to a bowl and let it cool slightly. This step is crucial as it ensures the filling doesn’t become too hot to handle when it’s time to stuff the shells.

Now comes the cheesy goodness. Combine the cooled chicken mixture with a creamy blend of ricotta cheese, queso fresco, and Monterey Jack cheese. The combination of these three cheeses creates a luscious filling that is both rich and flavorful.

Stir the chicken and cheese mixture until they are well combined, ensuring that every bite of the stuffed shells will have a perfect balance of flavors. The creamy texture of the cheeses will bind the filling together, adding a luxurious touch to the overall dish.

Get ready for a heavenly combination of sautéed onions, green chiles, shredded chicken, cumin, garlic, and a blend of ricotta, queso fresco, and Monterey Jack cheese. This flavorful filling will take your Enchilada Stuffed Shells to the next level!

Stuffing the Shells

To create the delicious Enchilada Stuffed Shells, it’s time to stuff those perfectly cooked pasta shells with a spoonful of the flavorful chicken and cheese filling. This step is crucial to ensure that each shell is evenly packed with the filling, delivering a burst of flavor in every bite.

Take one cooked pasta shell at a time and carefully fill it with a generous spoonful of the chicken and cheese mixture. You’ll want to make sure that each shell is stuffed to the brim, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Continue the process until all the shells are filled with the delightful mixture. Remember to handle the shells gently to prevent any breakage or tears, ensuring a beautifully presented and delicious dish.

Baking the Stuffed Shells

Once you have prepared the flavorful filling and stuffed the shells, it’s time to bake them to perfection!

To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to ensure it reaches the ideal temperature for baking the stuffed shells.

Next, grab a baking dish and coat the bottom with a thin layer of the delicious green enchilada sauce. This will not only add flavor but also prevent the shells from sticking to the dish.

Now, arrange the stuffed shells in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, ensuring they are evenly spaced. This will ensure that each shell cooks evenly and retains its shape.

Once the shells are arranged, generously cover them with the remaining enchilada sauce. This will infuse the dish with even more flavor and keep the shells moist during the baking process.

Finally, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over the top of the shells. This will create a cheesy and golden crust that will add a delicious finishing touch to the dish.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Once the shells are beautifully baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. The enticing aroma will surely have everyone eagerly waiting to dig in!

Now that the enchilada stuffed shells are baked to perfection, they are ready to be enjoyed! In the next section, we will explore how to garnish and serve this irresistible fusion dish.

Garnishing and Serving

Once the Enchilada Stuffed Shells are baked to perfection, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Remove them from the oven and get ready to garnish with fresh scallions, adding a pop of color and an extra layer of flavor to the dish.

To garnish, finely chop a handful of scallions. Sprinkle the scallions over the stuffed shells, distributing them evenly for a visually appealing presentation. The vibrant green of the scallions will contrast beautifully with the rich colors of the dish, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.

Garnishing with scallions not only adds a delightful crunchy texture but also imparts a refreshing and slightly tangy taste to each bite. The scallions provide a subtle zing that complements the bold flavors of the enchilada sauce and the creamy filling perfectly.

Now that your Enchilada Stuffed Shells are garnished with scallions, it’s time to serve them up. These delicious fusion shells can be plated individually or served family-style, depending on your preferences and the occasion. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

  • For a complete meal, serve the stuffed shells as a main dish accompanied by a crisp green salad dressed with a zesty vinaigrette. The refreshing salad will provide a contrasting texture and taste, balancing out the rich flavors of the enchilada shells.
  • To create a festive Mexican-inspired feast, serve the stuffed shells with traditional side dishes such as rice and beans, guacamole, and salsa. The combination of flavors will transport your taste buds to the streets of Mexico!
  • For a casual gathering or potluck, arrange the stuffed shells on a platter and let your guests enjoy them as finger food. Provide dipping sauces such as sour cream, salsa, or avocado crema for an interactive and customizable dining experience.

No matter how you choose to serve these Enchilada Stuffed Shells, they are bound to be a crowd-pleaser. The combination of Italian and Mexican flavors, paired with the fresh garnish of scallions, creates a truly memorable culinary experience. So gather your loved ones, sit down at the table, and savor each delicious bite!

Kid-Friendly and Easy

This Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe is not only packed with delicious flavors but is also kid-friendly and easy to make. The combination of Mexican and Italian ingredients makes it a fun and flavorful dish that the whole family can enjoy.

With simple steps and readily available ingredients, this recipe is perfect for busy parents looking to please their little ones without spending hours in the kitchen. The kid-friendly nature of this recipe ensures that even the pickiest eaters will be eager to take a bite.

So gather your family around the kitchen counter as you embark on a culinary adventure. Let the kids join in on the fun by helping with tasks such as stuffing the shells or garnishing the final dish. It’s a great opportunity to bond and create lasting memories in the heart of your home.

Not only is this Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe kid-friendly, but it’s also an easy recipe that even novice cooks can master. The step-by-step instructions and clear guidelines make it a breeze to follow, ensuring success in every attempt.

The family-friendly nature of this recipe goes beyond just pleasing the young ones. It’s a dish that can be enjoyed by all generations, from grandparents to teenagers. The hearty and flavorful combination of creamy cheese, tender pasta, and zesty enchilada sauce will have everyone coming back for seconds.

“This Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe is a hit with my entire family! The kids love helping me stuff the shells, and the flavors are so delicious. It’s become one of our go-to weeknight meals!” – Sarah E.

So why not give this kid-friendly and easy Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe a try? It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will make mealtime a joyous and memorable event for the whole family.

Recipe Variations

This recipe offers plenty of options for customization to suit different preferences. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative or want to switch up the protein, these variations will add a delicious twist to your Enchilada Stuffed Shells.

Vegetarian Option

If you prefer a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and replace it with a flavorful combination of beans or a bean and corn mixture. This will give your stuffed shells a hearty and protein-packed filling that will satisfy even the non-meat eaters at your table.

Chicken Instead of Beef

If you’re craving a different flavor profile, you can substitute the chicken with shredded or ground beef. This variation adds a savory and robust taste to the dish, creating a Mexican-inspired twist on classic Italian stuffed shells. The rich flavors of the beef combined with the enchilada sauce and melted cheese will take this dish to new heights of deliciousness.

Variation Ingredients
Vegetarian Option Beans or bean and corn mixture
Chicken Instead of Beef Shredded or ground beef

Recipe Tips and Tricks

When it comes to making the perfect Enchilada Stuffed Shells, here are some useful tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  1. Cooking Tips: To prevent the pasta shells from breaking while stuffing them, only cook them partially before baking. This will ensure they are still firm enough to hold the filling without becoming too soft.
  2. Preventing Shell Breakage: By cooking the shells al dente and handling them gently, you can prevent them from breaking during the stuffing process.
  3. Using Taco Seasoning: If you prefer a different flavor profile, you can swap out the recommended spices for taco seasoning. This will add a Mexican twist to the dish.
  4. Serving Suggestions: These Enchilada Stuffed Shells can be served with your favorite sides, such as a fresh salad or some Mexican-style rice. They can also be enjoyed on their own as a standalone dish.

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Expert Cooking Tip

If you’re really short on time, you can use pre-cooked jumbo pasta shells. This will save you some cooking time and make the recipe even quicker to prepare. Just make sure to follow the instructions for pre-cooked shells and adjust the baking time accordingly.

Pasta Cooking Times

Pasta Type Cooking Time
Jumbo Pasta Shells 8-10 minutes
Regular Pasta Shells 7-9 minutes
Lasagna Sheets 10-12 minutes

Remember to always adjust the cooking times based on the specific brand and the desired level of firmness for your pasta shells.

Nutritional Information

Before indulging in these delicious Enchilada Stuffed Shells, here’s some important nutritional information to consider. Each serving of this recipe contains approximately 345 calories. The specific values for fat, protein, carbohydrates, and dietary exchanges may vary depending on the ingredients used and the portion size.

It’s always advisable to read labels and verify the nutritional information, especially if you have specific dietary needs or preferences. By being mindful of these details, you can make informed choices and ensure that the Enchilada Stuffed Shells align with your nutritional goals.

So, go ahead and enjoy this flavorful fusion dish while keeping an eye on your nutritional intake!

“Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence.” – T. Colin Campbell

Nutrient Amount Per Serving
Calories 345
Dietary Exchanges


In conclusion, the Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe is a mouthwatering fusion of Italian and Mexican flavors. With its easy preparation and flavorful filling, this dish is perfect for a family-friendly meal or a crowd-pleasing gathering. By combining jumbo pasta shells with a spicy and cheesy mixture, you can enjoy the best of both cuisines in one delicious bite.

These Enchilada Stuffed Shells are the ideal choice for those seeking a quick and tasty weeknight dinner. The recipe’s simplicity, coupled with its rich and satisfying flavors, makes it a go-to option for busy individuals or families looking for an easy meal that doesn’t compromise on taste.

With its blend of Italian and Mexican ingredients, this recipe offers a unique twist on traditional stuffed shells. The creamy ricotta cheese, flavorful chicken, and zesty enchilada sauce create a harmonious fusion that is sure to delight your taste buds. So, give this Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe a try and experience the perfect combination of Italian and Mexican cuisine!


Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding more beans or a bean/corn mixture as a substitute.

Can I use beef instead of chicken?

Yes, you can substitute the chicken with shredded or ground beef to create a different flavor profile for the dish.

How can I prevent the pasta shells from breaking while stuffing them?

To prevent the pasta shells from breaking, only cook them partially before baking. This will ensure that they are still firm enough to hold the filling without becoming too soft.

Can I use taco seasoning instead of the recommended spices?

Yes, if you prefer, you can use taco seasoning instead of the recommended spices to give the dish a different flavor profile.

What should I serve with these Enchilada Stuffed Shells?

These Enchilada Stuffed Shells can be served as a main dish with a side salad or enjoyed on their own for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

How many calories are in each serving?

Each serving of this Enchilada Stuffed Shells Recipe contains approximately 345 calories. Please note that the nutritional information may vary based on the specific ingredients used and the portion size.

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