A fun fusion of the Italian and Mexican favorites: black beans and vegetables in a savory enchilada sauce, spooned into XXL pasta shells. Stuffed pasta shells are da bomb!
We’ve had a super rainy spring — rain of some amount has fallen almost everyday since March — and for vegetable gardeners (like me!), that means a few things:
- Planting becomes a ginormous chore that happens in frustrating fits and starts. It’s June, and I still don’t have all my summer vegetables planted.
- Because almost everything is going in late, everything is producing late — that means more time between me and my first ripe tomato (boo!)
- On the bright side, everything that is in the ground is growing like weeds (including the weeds — thistle, you are my nemesis this year). The tomato plants I managed to get in the ground are going to be huge.
- There comes a point where there’s just too much green. Green is what we gardeners live for. We gaze out our winter windows at all of the Midwestern brown going on in the yard, and dig through photos of gardens past, just waiting for the green. But on this day in June, I’d kill for anything but. Red tomatoes. Red peppers. Orange carrots. Purple eggplant. Yellow squash. Color! I need color!
So, it’s food to the rescue! If there’s any meal that sings that bright, cheery colors, it’s enchilada stuffed pasta shells! This dish is meatless, but you can easily add chicken or ground beef. Try the veggie version, though — with the hearty beans and savory flavors, you just might not miss the meat!
Borrowing the basic idea from Italian cuisine, marina sauce and ricotta are replaced with a bell pepper-heavy enchilada sauce and lots of traditional Mexican veggies and cheese.
Enchilada stuffed pasta shells is a gather-everyone-in-the-kitchen dish for the entire family, where even little hands can help stuff the shells or arrange them in the pan (just make sure the filling isn’t too hot).
When you want to bring vibrant, full-on flavor to the dinner table, vegetarian enchilada stuffed pasta shells is just the ticken — a wonderful dish for Meatless Mondays, too.
- 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 28-ounce can red enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 can green chiles, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 4 ounces grated cheese (I used quesadilla cheese)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2 stalks)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the interior of a 9" x 13" pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and boil for 9 minutes (or per the box directions for "pre-bake," if given). Drain in a colander and let cool.
- In a medium pot, heat the enchilada sauce over medium until warm. Spoon a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom of the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Stir the sour cream into the enchilada sauce in the pot until completely incorporated. Add the beans, corn, chiles, peppers, and red onions. Allow to heat for a few minutes.
- Holding a shell in one hand, use a slotted spoon to scoop a generous amount of the enchilada filling into the shell and carefully place the shell in the sauce-lined pan. Continue stuffing shells and lining them up side-by-side in the pan, until the pan is completely filled. Spoon the extra filling and sauce over the shells and in the cracks. Top evenly with the grated cheese, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove, and sprinkle the green onions over the top.