These taco pasta shells are a creative spin on taco night

“Kids tend to want to eat all the time,” laughs Stacie Billis, managing editor of Cool Mom Eats and author of Make It Easy. “We have to figure it out.” The mother of two boys says she tends to meal plan during the week for organization. Her formula: Create meals that use mostly fresh ingredients, are healthy and that appeal to the whole family. This may sound like a challenge, but with a few go-to resources it doesn’t have to be.

Billis found a Buzzfeed Tasty video and recipe for turkey and mashed potato meatloaf cups, baked in a cupcake tin, based on a TODAY Food Club Challenge. The recipe intrigued her, and she put a spin on it she knew her family would enjoy. The resulting taco pasta shells were not only delicious, but a creative win since the kids could dress up their own tacos with a variety of fresh toppings.

Taco Pasta Shells

Serves 6-8


1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells

2 tbs. neutral oil, such as grapeseed

2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated with a microplane

1 lb. ground turkey

1 10 3/4-ounce can Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1-ounce packet low-sodium taco seasoning mix

1 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar and/or jack cheese

Salsa, as a fixing, optional

Guacamole or sliced avocado, as a fixing, optional

Sour cream, as a fixing, optional

Thinly sided radish, as a fixing, optional

Thinly sliced jalapeno, as a fixing, optional

Fresh cilantro, as a fixing, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stockpot with 5 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Do not salt the water as you usually would—this dish has plenty of salt without adding any to the pasta cooking water. Once boiling, add the shells and stir. Once the water returns to a boil, cook for 7 minutes. Drain shells and set aside to cool to the touch.

2. In the meantime, add oil and garlic to a large skillet set over medium heat and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add turkey and brown, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to break it up as it cooks.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheddar cheese soup, diced tomatoes, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to smooth out the mixture.

4. Return to the turkey and add the taco seasoning; cook for 1 minute, stirring all the while, to toast the spices. Add half of the soup mixture and the black beans. Stir to combine well and cook for 5 minutes to bring the flavors together. Remove from heat.

5. Spread the remaining half of soup mixture on the bottom of an 8x12” baking dish. Using a spoon, stuff the shells with the meat and bean mixture and place in the baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until cheese bubbles and browns. Serve hot, with fixings of choice.

Check out other family recipes from Campbell’s: