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Taco Shells and Cheese

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This delicious Taco Shells and Cheese recipe comes from the new Pioneer Woman Cooks Super Easy recipes. This recipe is one of those quick and easy meals and makes a TON so it's great to feed the whole family on the fly.

If you love tacos as much as I do, whenever I get the chance to season any recipe to taste like tacos, I am all about it. I especially love quick meals, so when I saw this Taco Shells and Cheese recipe in the new Pioneer Woman Cookbook, I knew I wanted to try and make it for my family.

What's not to love about a quick and easy pasta dish?

This recipe is similar to Hamburger Helper Taco shells and cheese and is a spin on a hearty mac and cheese dish as well.

How to Make Taco Shells and Cheese

The hardest part about this dish is waiting for it to get done. It comes together quickly and will be on the table for your family in under 30 minutes.

Top the shells and cheese with some sour cream, fresh diced tomatoes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime for the perfect weeknight dinner idea.

Check out these other pasta dishes for more inspiration

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Yield: 8 servings

Taco Shells and Cheese

Taco Shells and Cheese

Quick and easy spin on normal mac and cheese. Taco inspired flavors for a quick and easy dinner recipe.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound small pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • One 10-ounce can Rotel
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk, plus more if needed for thinning
  • 8 ounces Velveeta, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • Sour cream and other taco toppings for garnish


    1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
    2. Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
    3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir in the diced tomatoes and chiles, hot water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a simmer.
    4. Cook until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes, then remove to a bowl (it will still be a little juicy).
    5. In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the milk and cook until hot and bubbling. Add the processed cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.
    6. Do the same with the Cheddar jack. Pour in the cooked pasta, add the taco meat and stir to combine.
    7. Taste and adjust the seasoning, thinning with a splash of milk if needed. Stir in the cilantro.
    8. Top each serving with some sour cream and salsa if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 1074mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 36g

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Karen @karenskitchenstories

Monday 7th of February 2022

I think I own every one of her books! They are the best!

Inger@Art of Natural Living

Monday 7th of February 2022

Well this looks like comfort food to me!


Sunday 6th of February 2022

LOVE easy to make dinner recipes! Putting this one on my list!

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