Mexican Stuffed Shells

Today’s recipe is a delicious fusion of spicy Mexican flavors with Italian pasta. A perfect weeknight meal. You could easily make this ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you get home from a busy day. It’s also a great recipe for feeding a crowd.

My family would be happy to eat pasta several nights a week, but I get bored with the same old thing. So when I stumbled upon this Mexican/Italian fusion recipe at The Way to His Heart I knew my family would love it. Maeghan adapted the recipe from A Pinch of This & That. Instead of using a taco seasoning packet, I substituted similar spices and used ground chicken sausage instead of ground beef.  Enjoy!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells


  • 1 lb. ground chicken sausage
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash cayenne powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • 14-16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1.5 cup salsa
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 3 green onions
  • Sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a frying pan cook ground sausage. Stir in spices and water and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes until the water cooks off. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside to cool.

Cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with enchilada sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake uncovered 10-15 minutes. Serve with green onions, black olives, sour cream and/or more salsa.

More Stuffed Shell recipes I’d like to try:

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells, How Sweet It Is
Stuffed Shells with Turkey and Artichokes, Pink Apron Baker
Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells, Cooking with Cristine
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells, Sugarcrafter
Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells, Cooking on the Side

Don't miss out on a new recipe. Subscribe to Barbara Bakes by Email

Some of the links in my posts may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Barbara Bakes when you shop!

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #BarbaraBakes.


    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    Fantastic recipe! Usually when I think of noodles, I think of Italian meals. Mexican is usually my meal of choice, so I can’t wait to try this recipe soon!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    After weeks of Fall flavors, plus Thanksgiving dinner, bright, spicy Mexican is just what the doctored ordered, and in fact we had Mexican last night. I only wish THIS dish was on the menu! I crave pasta, and love all the goodies stuffed into those shells! I’m definitely making these soon!

    BTW…the orange pate de fruits didn’t work in the cranberry cookies, they melted out and burnt so it’s off to buy orange jelly slices! I should have just followed your recipe and bought them in the first place :)

  3. says

    I made something similar to this once, except they were called taco shells and had bits of crumbled tortilla chips over them (we didn’t care for those crumbled bits). This recipe looks a lot better than the one I tried and I really like how you leaned them up with the chicken sausage and the reduced fat cream cheese. All in all, I’d say it’s a fairly healthy dish and it looks so delicious! I’m pinning these :)

  4. says

    My mom makes a similar recipe and I have been thinking I need to make it. It’s honestly one of my favorite recipes and the flavor is out of this world good. She puts the French’s fried onions on top. This looks like a great recipe, Barbara and I love the fixins that are on top. Like that you use the chicken sausage to save a few calories:-)