I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Feel free to read our full Disclosure Policy.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!! This unique way to eat tacos isn’t the healthiest meal, but it is a family favorite. And c’mon, we all deserve a cheat meal every now and then 😉

Taco in a Shell

This recipe is super simple, delicious and makes for some awesome leftovers!

You’ll need the following:


  • 2 – lbs Lean Ground Beef (the leaner the better)
  • 2 – Packets of Ortega Taco Seasoning (or use this homemade version from a healthy taco salad)
  • 1 – Box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 8 oz of Shredded cheese (you can use Mexican Taco blend or regular shredded cheddar)
  • 1 – Bag (large or family size) of Doritos

Taco in a shell ingredients


First, set your oven to 400 degrees. Fill a large kettle with water and bring to a boil.  Brown the hamburger in a large skillet. Once browned, add the 2 Taco Seasoning packets.

ground beef

Add water as directed by the Taco Seasoning directions. Usually, it’s about 1/3 cup of water per packet of taco seasoning.

Once your water is boiling add jumbo shells, salt and a little extra virgin olive oil to boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes so shells don’t stick.

When the shells are done, strain and run cool water over the shells to stop the cooking and to cool them off enough so you can handle them.

Grease a large glass cooking dish and get your prepping station setup to your liking.

cooking dish

prepping station

I use a second smaller dish because 2 lbs of meat make more than one cooking dish will fit. I make a separate one for my boys who prefer theirs without cheese. Kids who don’t like cheese?? Crazy, right?!!

Filling the pasta shells with meat.

pasta shell

Squeeze open the shell.

Fill pasta shell

Use about one tablespoon to fill the shells with meat.  I don’t fill them too full so I can get a bigger batch (and have more leftovers).

perfect filled shell   Perfect shell!

Place the filled shells in the greased baking dish. Repeat this step for all the shells until you fill the baking dish.

filled taco shells
Cover the shells with a little over half the bag of shredded cheese.

shredded cheese

Take a handful of Doritos, crush them and sprinkle over the cheese.


Repeat the last two steps, emptying the rest of the cheese over the shells and crushing more Doritos on top (I make my Doritos pieces a little larger on the top layer).

taco in a shell recipe

Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes.

aluminum foil

Pull from the oven, making sure all the cheese is good and melted. If not, place back in the oven for 2-4 more minutes until all the cheese is melted. Remove tin foil and place back into the oven for 2-3 more minutes. This will get the Doritos on top crispy and browned.

baked taco in a shell

Let cool for a few minutes, dish up and enjoy!

unique way to eat tacos


You can use a fork, or as you will see my son likes to use his hands. 🙂

meals kids love

Happy kiddo!

P.S. Be sure to subscribe and get exclusive access to our Resource Library. Chock full of awesome freebies and printables to help make your life just a little bit more blissful!

Looking for a fun, different meal for dinner? Check out this unique way to eat tacos. Get your kids involved with making this simple yet delicious meal. #tacos #food #recipe #funfood #kidapproved
Pin Me!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *