Mexican Stuffed Shells by Amanda and Cassie

Amanda’s MEXICAN STUFFED SHELLS
22 stuffed shells (us adults ate nearly 4-5 each)
My updates/changes to the recipe:
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Envelope of Taco Seasoning
1/2 pkg of Cream Cheese (need 4 oz)
1/8 C Butter, melted
24 Uncooked Jumbo Pasta Shells (1/2 a box)
1 16oz jar Salsa (divided)
1 C of Cheddar/ Monterey Jack Cheese shredded (or Mexican blend)

Optional toppings:

1 C Taco Sauce (for cooking)
1 1/2 C of Crushed Tortilla Chips
1 C Sour Cream
3 Green Onions, chopped
Directions:
In a large skillet, season (onion flakes, salt, pepper) and cook beefover medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning;prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese; cook andstir for 5-10 minutes or until melted. Transfer to a bowl and letchill in the fridge while you cook the pasta shells. Bring water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for 3-4 minutes . Gently toss with butter. Drain noodles (they will be firm and crunchy still). Arrange noodles on a cookie sheet with open side up. Filleach shell with 1 heaping tablespoon of meat mixture. Freeze shells oncookie sheet uncovered for about 1 hour (this is called flash freezing and allows you to stick them in a bag/ container to freeze and prevents them sticking to one another. See photo). Remove shells from cookiesheet and place in gallon sized freezer bag. (This batch worked out to be 22 shells per family). Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen shells: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours (shells will be partially frozen). Spoon salsa into a greased 9×13-in. bakingdish; Drizzle on top of shells more salsa OR taco sauce. Cover andbake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cheeses andchips if desired. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through.Serve with sour cream and onions.

NOTE: I doubled the meat recipe (2 lb of meat, etc) and it made enough meat to fill 88 shells (2 boxes of shells) which equals 4 meals, so this recipe goes a long ways!  Each person gets a bag of 22 shells, small baggy of shredded cheese (inside the bag of shells), and an unopened jar of salsa to keep in the pantry until time to cook the meal.
The filling for these shells are the same (more or less) as the sauce in the recipe for Taco Pasta. It is practically the same recipe, but the sauce is mixed with the pasta, rather than stuffed inside the shell.
http://freezermealsforus.blogspot.com/2012/01/taco-pasta-by-maggie-from.html

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