Cheesy Beef Enchilada Stew Pasta Shells – The ultimate Mexican-inspired pasta dish, which is perfect for any night of week.
Slimming World Friendly Cheesy Beef Enchilada Pasta Shells
Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells
This is the most Mexican-inspired dish you’ve ever seen. Ground beef, bell peppers, and black beans are stuffed into huge pasta shells with a homemade Enchilada sauce. Then bake until cheese is melted and lightly golden. !
As if that weren’t enough, I add fresh chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapenos and spring onions to the dish once it is out of the oven. This is a dish that you’ll make over and over again.
What is an Enchilada, exactly?
Enchiladas consist of a tortilla with different fillings, and a spicy sauce. The filling usually includes a meat protein such as chicken or beef, along with beans, vegetables, or other combinations.
This is a great dish to serve as a main dish or side dish to a large group.
Combining Mexican-style recipes with pasta is something I love.
Are there any alternatives to large pasta shells?
These items can sometimes be difficult to source. However, they are usually available on Amazon if they are not readily available at your local grocery store. There are other options if you don’t want to order online or have had no luck finding the items you need.
Manicotta or Cannelloni pasta shells – great for filling
Lasagne Sheets: First, heat the water until it becomes softened. Then you can fill with lasagne sheets and then roll them up.
You can also use tortillas if you like. The recipe makes 36 pasta shells so that you can fill approximately 12 tortillas.
What about other ground meats (mince)
Beef enchiladas are a favourite of ours, so we use beef. However, you can use any other ground meats such as chicken or turkey.
Ground turkey and chicken are great options for reducing calories as they are a naturally leaner meat but on Slimming World the meat used makes no difference as long as the mince is 5% or less and chicken breast has the skin removed.
This may work well with a ground beef vegetarian substitute if you’re vegetarian. (We have never tried using meat substitutes with this before so please let us know if you have any success.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
My basic enchilada recipe is what I use for Mexican-inspired dishes. It’s more tomatoey than traditional Enchilada sauces because that’s what my family likes. It is possible to modify it by adding or removing a specific spice. I usually use passata (sieved tomato), but you could also use canned crushed tomatoes. Then add some tomato paste (puree). A little maple syrup is something I like to add (or honey, sugar, or granulated sweetener, if you prefer). It’s a small amount that helps balance all the flavors and spices. Then there’s my choice of spices, which are usually: paprika or cumin, cayenne oregano.
You can easily double the recipe for this sauce and freeze it if you make Mexican food like this frequently. It will also save you time, but it is very quick to prepare.
Use the best cheese for pasta dishes
For pasta dishes, I usually use two different types of cheeses. It all depends on the dish I’m making.
If you prefer a brighter colour for your pasta bake, I recommend using a similar flavoured cheddar like Red Leicester.
Mozzarella is another cheese that I like to go with cheddar. It’s a great melting cheese.
Avoid buying pre-grated cheese bags. Some don’t melt well because they are coated with a coating to keep it from sticking together.
Sides for Beef Enchilada Stuffed Pasta Shells
Are you wondering what side dishes to pair with this recipe. I made a large bowl of mixed salad that I served at the centre of the table along with the pasta shells so everyone could eat it.
I also added tomatoes and jalapenos to my dish, but these are completely optional. Some kids may not like the sight or taste of Jalapenos. Other toppings and sides can be added to the dish.
Avocado, Guacamole, or even this Pea Guacamole
This delicious Mexican Salad
Refried Beans are also available in fat-free versions.