Cozumel Shells


This recipe combines spices and flavors from the Mexican roasted pork dish, Cochinita Pibil, with Italian stuffed shells. Seasoned pork, cilantro, and queso fresco give the stuffed shells a Latin-American flair that deliciously mixes things up.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (12 ounce) box Barilla® Jumbo Shells

  • 1 (24 ounce) jar Barilla® Traditional Sauce

  • 2 packets sazon seasoning with coriander and achiote

  • 2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • cup fresh orange juice

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups chicken stock, or as needed

  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves

  • 10 ounces crumbled queso fresco cheese, divided


  1. Sprinkle sazon seasoning over pork cubes and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to a large zip-top plastic bag. Mix orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, paprika, chili powder, coriander, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Pour into plastic bag with pork; gently squeeze to evenly distribute marinade. Seal bag and place on a plate. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Remove pork from marinade; reserve marinade. Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork until brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved marinade and enough chicken stock to barely cover the pork. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer until meat is falling-apart tender, about 45 minutes.

  3. Transfer pork with a slotted spoon to a bowl; reserve 1/3 cup of cooking liquid. Cool pork slightly; shred pork with two forks. Mix in reserved cooking liquid, cilantro, and 7 ounces of crumbled queso fresco cheese.

  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta shells in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 13 minutes. Drain.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with 2 cups of pasta sauce. Stuff shells with a spoonful of pork mixture and arrange in baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce evenly over stuffed shells and sprinkle with remaining crumbled queso fresco.

  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note:

To make your own sazon seasoning, mix 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, ground annatto seeds (or turmeric), garlic powder, and kosher salt, plus 1/3 teaspoon oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

477 Calories
21g Fat
46g Carbs
26g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 477
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 751mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 127mg 10%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 327mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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