…aka Sopa de Conchas… aka comfort food heaven…
Mexican Sopita Shells and Cheese is a comfort food that I can’t believe I didn’t know about until now. Tomato sauce, pasta, broth, seasoning and cheese? It’s kind of a hybrid between creamy tomato soup and mac and cheese, but with a kick. And toppings. Where has this been all my life?
The other name for this dish is Sopa de Conchas, and I’m glad I’m writing that instead of trying to say it, but ask my girls… I sent them to Spanish school for a reason. 😉
I am always down for a good bowl of comfort food and pasta is my life, so this dish hits on so many of my favourite things… Imagine tiny pasty shells swimming in a richly seasoned tomato broth with a whole bunch of cheese thrown in. Interested? Thought so.
How do you make Mexican Sopita Shells and Cheese?
This is such an easy recipe, and I’m sure there are about a zillion variations of it (and I am totally game to try them all if anyone needs me to), but this simple version is my go-to.
You’re going to start by softening up some onions over medium heat. Then you’ll add in some garlic, some pasta and some seasonings.
Add in some broth and tomato sauce and let it simmer.
Once the shells are tender you’re going to add in a pile of cheese and stir until it’s all melted and creamy. Then you can add toppings to your heart’s content… Cilantro? Yes! Queso Fresco? Absolutely. Jalapeños? Mandatory. Tortilla chips and lime juice? Please!
If you’ve been poking around here for any amount of time, you probably know that one of my daughters is vegetarian. In the interest of preserving my sanity, I like to make food that everyone in the house will eat and so I made this with vegetable broth. Chicken broth or bouillon is traditional, but I promise you it is still absolutely scrumptious with whatever broth you want to use.
Anything Special You Need to Know?
It’s not, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. Add a good pinch of cayenne along with the other seasonings, or top your bowl with hot sauce and/or sliced fresh jalapeño.
One of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. Yes you can. I’d brown it up with the onions and carry on with the rest of the recipe.
I don’t see why not. You could easily sauté some carrots or zucchini with the onions or add in some corn or cooked broccoli at the end.
I’m a big fan of Jalapeño Jack cheese because it melts in well and has a little kick, but use whatever sounds good to you… Or dig into this list of Mexican cheeses for some ideas.
Let me know what you think!
Mexican Sopita Shells & Cheese
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 white onion finely diced
- 1 bag small shell pasta 14 oz
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 6 cups broth
- 1 can tomato sauce 15 oz
- 1 roma tomato diced
- 3/4 cup shredded jalapeño jack cheese
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- Chopped cilantro
- Hot sauce
- Tortilla Chips
- Heat oil (I used avocado oil) over medium heat in a medium-sized pot and add in the onion. Cook 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add in the pasta, the cumin, the chili powder and the garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the broth, the tomato sauce, the tomato and a good pinch each of S&P. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes until pasta is cooked and the sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat. Stir in cheese.
- Serve with toppings.
If you like this Mexican Sopita Shells and Cheese Recipe please go try my Recipe for Enchiladas with Green Sauce. Another great comfort food meal that’s super easy to make.