Mexican Stuffed Shells

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A delicious fusion of spicy Mexican flavors with Italian pasta. These Mexican Stuffed Shells make a perfect weeknight meal. 

9x13 pan of Mexican Stuffed Shells

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. Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with sausage and covered in enchilada sauce and cheese – what’s not to love!

Four photo collage showing the steps of making stuffed pasta shells

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.

Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with sausage and covered in enchilada sauce and cheese

It’s become one of my daughter’s favorite recipes to feed her family.


9x13 pan of Mexican Stuffed Shells
Yield: 14-16 jumbo shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 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 mild salsa
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • Diced green onions, olives and sour cream for serving


  1. 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.
  2. Cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
  3. Pour salsa on bottom of 9"x13" baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9"x13" pan open side up. Cover shells with enchilada sauce and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, bake uncovered 10-15 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
  5. Serve with green onions, black olives, sour cream and/or more salsa.
More Stuffed Shell recipes I’d like to try:

Pasta Carbonara, Barbara Bakes
Pasta Puttanesca, Barbara Bakes
Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells, How Sweet It Is
Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells, Cooking on the Side
Pizza Stuffed Shells, Spend with Pennies

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A collage of pictures – unbaked stuffed shells and baked Mexican Stuffed Pasta Shells

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