Monday, September 16, 2013

Enchilada Stuffed Shells -SRC

Have you ever made a new recipe full of delicious ingredients that you know your family loves yet had skeptical, dubious children take one look and declare,  "I don't LIKE that!" before they've even tasted it?

It drives me crazy.

My 3.5 year old Ellia is a real master at that kind of stuff. If she even thinks a dish might have onions in it, she automatically doesn't want to eat it.  What makes it even worse is that she really doesn't mind onions, it's the 6 year old (Annika) who does.  Ellia just wants to be like Annika, so she has to copy the onion-hating.

There was one time recently that Ellia was eating her peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and she excitedly announced, "You can't even taste the onions!!!!"  

Yep.  I can't taste onions in my PB&J either.  Wonder why that is.

I use onions a lot in my cooking, so there are many opportunities to use that phrase, I suppose.

So there was a small amount of skepticism when this dinner was presented, but once the reluctant eaters were persuaded to take a bite, there were no more complaints and the plates were emptied.  Hurray!  Score for Mom!

Many thanks to Grandma Loy's Kitchen, whose blog I was assigned to for this month's Secret Recipe Club.
Grandma Loy has lots of down-to-earth recipes with simple ingredients and easy preparation - like her Herbed Potato Frittata (which I made a version of on Saturday and it was amazing!), Apple Pear Streusel Pie,  and Easy Pretzel Pralines (definitely trying those this fall).
I have really enjoyed reading through her blog and pinning all sorts of new things to try.

But I couldn't resist this entree option - I love enchiladas and pasta is always a hit with my I just knew these would be delicious.  When Annika came in and saw me filling the shells, she was less than impressed with how the filling looked....but I made her take a little bite and she was immediately convinced.....this was an awesome meal. :)   She couldn't wait to tell the others how good dinner was going to be!  And we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

I included our favorite enchilada sauce that I use for this recipe - Grandma Loy has her own version that you can also check out.  Or you can just use canned sauce.

P.S.  This would make a GREAT potluck meal.
P.P.S. I bet it would also freeze really well....although I haven't tried it yet.

Enchilada Stuffed Shells
adapted  from Grandma Loy's Kitchen

1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (15 oz) pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 (10 oz) cans enchilada sauce OR homemade recipe below
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded cheese - cheddar and Monterey Jack combined, divided use

Brown ground turkey or beef with onion, red pepper, and garlic.  I like to sprinkle with garlic salt for flavor.  Drain if necessary.  Add corn, beans, cream cheese, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and 2/3 cup enchilada sauce.  Let cook for ~10 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Spoon about 2 heaping Tablespoons meat mixture into each cooked pasta shell. Place in a greased 13 x 9" dish.  Sprinkle each shell with some of the cheese. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the shells.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer.

Makes 10 servings of 2 shells each.

Enchilada Sauce: (makes enough for a double batch of stuffed shells  - freeze half for another time if you don't need a double batch)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. flour
1/4 c. chili powder
2 c. chicken broth
10 oz. tomato paste
1 t. oregano
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt

In a large saucepan or skillet, heat 2 T. oil and then add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.  Add 2 cups broth, tomato paste, oregano, cumin and salt.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium/low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.


  1. I'd love to try this at my house too! It looks great.

  2. Now this is a total twist on stuffed shells I was not expecting. Great SRC post.

  3. My Tex-mex lovin heart is pinning this recipe to try later. Great choice. Nice to have a homemade enchilada sauce recipe also. Great SRC Choice.

  4. These look like a great dinner, can't wait to try them!

  5. Great recipe for SRC! We're big fans of Mexican food but tacos get old after awhile.

  6. These look great and my family would love these! Great SRC choice!

  7. I love throwing a twist on traditional food, just like you did with these stuffed shells, YUM!

  8. This just might be the first South Western pasta dish that I have seen! I am going to love trying this one... I had the onion battle at my house for a few answer was to put the onions in a blender...nobody knew they were there! Great SRC selection.

    1. I haven't tried the onion in the blended trick yet....I guess I'm too lazy to dirty another dish! :) But I may give it a shot...if for nothing else, a peaceful dinner.

  9. I love the SW twist on a favorite Italian recipe. With no kids at the table, we'll add a generous dose of jalapeƱos or poblanos along with some hot sauce along with the onions.

  10. Those look SO good. And your kids area adorably funny. :) Nope, I can't taste onion in my PB&J either :)

  11. Thanks for the sweet comments about my blog and recipe. I am so glad that you liked the recipes you have tried. I love different versions of stuffed pasta shells so it is kind of funny that I made a version from Join us pull up a chair, the blog I was assigned. I'll bet your family would like that one also. Thanks for sharing your enchilada sauce recipe. I will be giving it a try. Your photos are wonderful, much better than mine. I will be back to visit again soon. By the way, your family is adorable.

  12. These look awesome! I love the combo of enchiladas and stuffed shells...I know these would be a hit with my boyfriend! :) Yum! Visiting from group A :)

    1. Glad you stopped by! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  13. Hi Rebekah,
    Your presentation for this Enchilada dish is just awesome and it looks delicious. A great selection for the SRC!

  14. My kids and hubby would love this - I need to give it a try.


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