In the realm of culinary arts, fusion cuisine is a delightful way to explore and enjoy the best of different culinary traditions. One such fusion that has been gaining popularity is the blend of Tex-Mex and Italian flavors. This article will take you through a detailed exploration of one such dish – the Easy Taco Stuffed Shells with Homemade Queso. This dish is a perfect blend of hearty Italian pasta and the spicy, savory flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine.
The Magic of Fusion Cuisine
Fusion cuisine is a culinary trend that combines elements and techniques from different culinary traditions. This trend has given birth to some of the most exciting and flavorful dishes, and our Easy Taco Stuffed Shells with Homemade Queso is a perfect example. This dish combines the hearty, comforting nature of Italian pasta with the spicy, savory flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine, creating a dish that is both familiar and excitingly new.
The Birth of Taco Stuffed Shells
The creation of Taco Stuffed Shells was a result of a Taco Tuesday dilemma. When the pantry ran out of taco shells, the only alternative was to use jumbo shells intended for a regular stuffed shells recipe. The result was a delightful surprise that instantly became a family favorite. The dish has since evolved, with various additions and tweaks to the recipe, but the core concept remains the same – a delicious fusion of Tex-Mex and Italian flavors.
The ingredients for Taco Stuffed Shells are simple and easily accessible. The main components are:
- 12 ounces jumbo shell pasta
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 ounce taco seasoning
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 ½ cups queso
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- Green onions
- Taco sauce
The process of making Taco Stuffed Shells is straightforward and easy to follow. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cook jumbo shells according to package instructions. Do not overcook – they’ll fall apart.
- Drain, rinse, and let cool.
- Brown ground beef in a heavy skillet.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top.
- Stir in water and simmer until the water is absorbed.
- Stir in cilantro.
- Spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Gently hold a jumbo shell in the palm of your hand and fill it with meat mixture. It should hold about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons.
- Place in the casserole dish.
- Repeat with the remaining shells until all the meat is gone.
- Pour the queso over the shells, spreading to cover them with it.
- Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the casserole is heated through.
- Drizzle with taco sauce, sprinkle with green onions and serve.
What’s a good side for taco stuffed shells?
A crispy salad with vinaigrette, sliced tomatoes, guacamole, or broccoli would make a great side for taco stuffed shells.
How many stuffed shells is a serving?
Typically, a serving would consist of 4 to 6 shells.
How many jumbo pasta shells are there in a 12 oz box?
The number can vary, but you can generally expect around 42 to 48 shells.
The Easy Taco Stuffed Shells with Homemade Queso is a testament to the magic of fusion cuisine. It’s a dish that brings together the best of two culinary worlds, resulting in a meal that’s hearty, flavorful, and absolutely delightful. So, the next time you’re in the mood for something different, give this recipe a try. You might just find your new favorite dish.