Creamy Southwestern Shells 
with Black Beans - Clean Eating Magazine

Creamy Southwestern Shells 
with Black Beans

This twist on mac ’n’ cheese is bursting with bold southwestern ingredients like sweet corn, creamy avocado and fresh cilantro. Try using 
tri-colored pasta shells for added visual appeal.
Creamy Southwestern Shells with Black Beans image
  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 2 cups unsalted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz small whole-wheat pasta shells
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can 
unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted (TRY: Alexia 
All-Natural Supersweet Organic Corn)
  • 3 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped


  1. In a large oven-proof skillet on medium-high, bring tomatoes, milk and broth to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta, cover and reduce heat to medium, adjusting as needed to maintain a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just barely al dente, 8 to 14 minutes.
  2. Arrange oven rack in center position and preheat broiler to high. To skillet, add beans, corn, half of cheese and 5 tbsp cilantro. Stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle remaining half of cheese over top and transfer to oven. Broil until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Divide among plates and sprinkle evenly with avocado and remaining 3 tbsp cilantro.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 528
  • Carbohydrate Content: 79 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 29 mg
  • Fat Content: 15 g
  • Fiber Content: 14 g
  • Protein Content: 27 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 6.5 g
  • Sodium Content: 255 mg
  • Sugar Content: 11 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 2 g