February 03, 2013

Vegetarian Taco Stuffed Shells

After deciding on margaritas yesterday as our cocktail of choice, I figured taco stuffed shells would go well for dinner, especially since I prefer to tackle more complicated recipes on the weekend.

I loosely followed a recipe from Budget Bytes, minus the ground beef and subbed my lentil taco recipe instead.  If you're looking for a meaty recipe, definitely check out her version.

Under all that cheese lies stuffed shells filled with lentils and beans (black & kidney).  Both Chris and I loved the taste of this recipe, but the tedious aspect of stuffing shells seemed unnecessary.  I'm thinking long lasagna noodles would work just as well next time, and lessen the prep time.

Creating a layered dish would also help distribute the enchilada sauce and cheese.  Or maybe the shells were not suppose to be stacked?  Although I did use a 12 oz package as directed.

This is my long way of saying that I recommend making this recipe, but I'm going to try a different variation next time.  Also, if this type of recipe appeals to you, my spinach & 3-bean enchiladas recipe is very similar and a little quicker to prepare.

Vegetarian Taco Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes

Ingredients (serves 8)
Lentil/Beans Filling
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 oz package taco seasoning (or 2 heaping tablespoons taco seasoning)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans beans (such as black, kidney, pinto)
Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 15 oz tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Stuffed Shells
  • 12 oz jumbo shells
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add lentils and taco seasoning. Cook until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 30-35 minutes. Uncover lentils, add beans and cook until mixture thickens, about 7 minutes.
  • Toward the end of the lentil cook time, prepare the enchilada sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add flour, smoothing and stirring with rubber spatula. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato puree, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  • While the lentil/bean filling and enchilada sauce cook, prepare the shells. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add shells and cook just until tender, about 9 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the shells in a colander and rinse with cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Spray a 9x13 dish with nonstick spray. Fill the shells with the lentil/bean filling and place in the dish.
  • Once all the shells are filled, pour the enchilada sauce over top, then add the shredded cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  • Chop green onions and sprinkle over the top after the shells come out of the oven.
  • Recipe adapted from: Budget Bytes and This Homemade Life
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  1. This looks so good! I have a such a hard time with lentils, but I think I would love this recipe.

  2. Looks great. I'm hungry for an early lunch now.