Classic Stuffed Shells Recipe
These stuffed shells are filled with three different varieties of cheese, then topped with marinara sauce and more cheese before being baked till golden brown. This traditional comfort meal recipe is perfect for serving a large group of people! For a quick and easy lunch that is sure to delight both kids and adults, I turn to baked spaghetti, lasagna roll-ups, or these cheese filled shells with a creamy sauce. Stuffed shells are a popular meal for a good reason: they’re filling, beautiful to look at, and simple to prepare.
This variation, which includes ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses, as well as a spicy marinara sauce, makes for a filling and delicious supper.
How do you make stuffed shells?
Prepare the pasta shells by boiling them for a few minutes. Meanwhile, assemble the filling by combining ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, as well as seasonings and an egg, while the shells are baking. Fill each cooked shell with the cheese mixture, using a spoon or a piping bag if desired. Fill the bottom of a baking dish halfway with marinara sauce, then arrange the shells on top of the sauce. More sauce should be poured over the shells, and mozzarella cheese should be sprinkled on top.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and take pleasure in it.
Tips for the perfect pasta
- Keep in mind that the shells will continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes after they’ve been placed in the oven. I like full milk ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, but if you’re wanting to save a few calories, you may use half skim. Instead of using pre-shredded cheese, you may grate your own from scratch. In my experience, pre-grated cheeses purchased at the shop are often covered with anti-caking chemicals and preservatives, and so do not melt as easily. Make the preparations for this meal up to 8 hours before you intend to bake it. Wrap the dish in aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. It is possible that you may need to add an additional 10 minutes to the baking time to account for the cooled pasta. Select a high-quality jarred marinara sauce for your pasta. In general, I like the Newman’s Own or Classico brands.
This is a conventional form of baked shells with a cheese filling, but you can make it your own by adding a number of other ingredients to suit your preferences.
- To add protein to the cheese mixture, crumble 8 ounces of cooked crumbled mince beef, Italian sausage, or ground turkey and stir it in. You might also experiment with shredded cooked chicken. Spinach, mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, or kale are some of the vegetables that can be added to the cheese filling up to 1 cup in quantity. Make certain that the veggies are properly chopped and cooked before adding them to the mixture. Sauce: Replace the marinara sauce with a creamy Alfredo sauce, or make a robust bolognese-style meat sauce in its place. In place of the three varieties of cheese I’ve described, you may substitute cream cheese, tiny curd cottage cheese, provolone, fontina, asiago, or romano
- Or a combination of the three.
Can you freeze stuffed shells?
This recipe can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months and taste just as good. Assemble the shells, then wrap them securely in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. When you’re ready to dine, bake the shells from frozen, keeping in mind that they’ll need an additional 30 minutes of cooking time. Additionally, leftover shells that have already been cooked can be frozen in individual-sized pieces. Using the microwave, reheat shells that have already been baked in 90-second intervals until they are thoroughly heated.
How long are stuffed shells good for?
In the refrigerator, stuffed shells will keep their freshness for up to 4 days, making them an excellent alternative for meal preparation. Baked shells can be stored in the pan with aluminum foil to keep them from drying out, or they can be transferred to an airtight container.
More pasta recipes you’ll love
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta, Baked Ziti, Chicken Spaghetti, Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Mushroom Pasta are some of the dishes on the menu.
Stuffed Shells Video
These stuffed shells are filled with three different varieties of cheese, then topped with marinara sauce and more cheese before being baked till golden brown. This traditional comfort meal recipe is perfect for serving a large group of people! Course MainCuisineItalianKeywordstuffed shells in a tomato sauce Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 30 min. 55 minutes is the total time allotted. Servings 6 calories488 kilocalories
- Boiled according to package specifications
- 24jumbo pasta shells 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce (split)
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare a 9″x13″ baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray. 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce should be spread evenly around the bottom of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, the Italian seasoning, the egg, the salt, the pepper, and the parmesan cheese. To blend, stir the ingredients together. Make sure to fill each shell halfway with the ricotta mixture before placing them on the baking tray. Then top with the leftover marinara sauce and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Wrap the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove the pan from the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and beginning to color
- After that, garnish with parsley and serve
488 calories|35 grams of carbohydrates|30 grams of protein|26 grams of fat|15 grams of saturated fat|115 milligrams of cholesterol|1193 milligrams of sodium|630 milligrams of potassium|3 grams of fiber|7 grams of sugar|1460 international units (IU) of vitamin A|10 milligrams of vitamin C|561 milligrams of calcium|3 milligrams of iron
How to Make Sea Shell Pasta From Scratch
A close-up of a single piece of fresh sea shell pasta that was cooked at home. Image courtesy of aga7ta/iStock/Getty Images (original). Sea shell pasta, also known as shell pasta, derives its name from the distinctive, curled shape that resembles a conch shell that it takes on when cooked. Sea shell pasta is thick and often used in sauce-based meals, such as clam chowder. The shell-shape of the pasta allows sauce to accumulate within it. If you want to create your own sea shell pasta from home rather than purchasing it, it takes roughly 25 minutes and requires just four common household materials.
Cook the handmade sea shell pasta in the same manner as you would a professionally purchased sea shell pasta product.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the salt and 1 cup of flour. Make a tiny well in the center of the flour mixture with your fingers by pressing them together.
Fill the middle of the flour mixture with the beaten egg and cold water, making a well in the center. Hand-knead the egg and water into the flour mixture until it forms a firm dough, about 5 minutes total time.
Spread the remaining flour on a level work surface and roll out the firm dough from the bowl onto it. Repeat with the remaining dough. Five minutes should be spent kneading the dough on a floured surface.
Separate the dough into four equal portions and form each section into a long, 1/2-inch-thick roll. Repeat with the remaining dough sections.
Cut each roll into 20 pieces with a sharp knife, making sure they are of the same size. Place the components to one side of your work table so that they are easily accessible.
One piece of dough should be placed on your working surface. Using the tip of the knife, press it into the dough so that the sharp edge is facing away from you. Press the flat side of the knife on the dough piece with your thumb and forefinger.
Lightly press the knife into the dough piece with your fingers. Pulling the dough toward your body and wrapping it around the knife to form the shape of a sea shell is recommended. If the dough adheres to the knife, cover it with a thin coating of flour before attempting again.
Remove the dough in the shape of a sea shell from the knife’s blade and place it aside. Repeat the process with the remaining dough chunks.
Allow for a 12-hour drying period before using the sea shell pasta.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Sharp knife
If you do not want to use the sea shell pasta right away, leave it to dry for an additional 12 hours before storing it in an airtight container for up to two years in the refrigerator.
Stuffed Shells Recipe (VIDEO)
Stuffed Shells with Ricotta cheese are the perfect meal, and they are a family favorite. Check out the video instruction to learn how simple it is to create filled pasta shells from scratch. It is possible that this content contains affiliate links.
Please review my disclosure policy. A lot of our favorite pasta dishes include creamy shrimp pasta, shrimp scampi pasta, and of course our Chicken Pesto Pasta (see recipe below). This Stuffed Shells Recipe is a must-try if you are a lover of pasta dishes.
Stuffed Shells Video Tutorial
Marinara Sauce is the perfect accompaniment to these stuffed giant shells, which are filled with ricotta and melty mozzarella cheese and served over a bed of the sauce. They are always gone in a flash and reheat beautifully. In the event that you loved this video for Stuffed Shells, please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel (P.S. Click on the BELL button to be notified when a new video is posted).
What are Stuffed Shells?
Stuffed shells are comparable to Italian Manicotti or Cannelloni in appearance and flavour. Packed shells are large pasta shells that have been stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Pasta shells make excellent pockets for stuffing since they are easy to fill.
How to Make Stuffed Pasta Shells
There are three basic components to this dish: the pasta, the sauce, and the cheese filling, but the preparation is straightforward.
- Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions in salted water until done. Prepare the Red Sauce by sautéing onions in oil until translucent, then adding garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. 3 cups of your preferred Marinara Sauce should be added at this point. Pour the sauce into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cheese Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, parmesan, 1 egg (beaten with a fork), salt, pepper, and oregano
- Set aside. Filling the Shells– The quickest and most accurate way to portion the cheese filling is to fill an ice cream scoop halfway with the filling and then put it into the shell. Over the pasta shells, scatter the remaining 1 cup mozzarella
- Serve immediately. Bake– Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, then broil uncovered for 2-4 minutes until golden brown.
Where can I purchase large shell pasta? Jumbo shells may be found in most grocery shops, generally in the pasta section of the store. Keeping pasta shells from adhering together is a difficult task. Once the shells are cooked till al dente, drain the hot water and replace it with cold water to end the cooking process and prevent the pasta from sticking together. What exactly is al dente? Al dente refers to something that is firm to the biting. The majority of package directions will provide you with the exact cooking time for properly cooked al dente pasta.
Is it okay to use a glass casserole?
Because broiling is not suggested with glass bakeware, once the foil has been removed, increase the heat to approximately 475 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
The ideal replacement for ricotta is simple cottage cheese, which should be drained and mashed.
We like to serve this as a vegetarian main meal with Garlic Bread and a simple side salad or vegetables on the side.
- To Refrigerate: Assemble the shells, wrap them in aluminum foil, and place them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before baking them as directed, adding 5 minutes to the baking time if you are baking a chilled casserole. You may also refrigerate a lasagna that has been fully cooked and cooled. Frozen roll-ups: Place all of the ingredients in a casserole dish (without baking), cover securely with aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit from frozen (covered with aluminum foil). Microwave or bake pieces until roll-ups are cooked through and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
Tip for Microwaving: Drizzle a small amount of water over your meal to help it keep moisture. Use of a plate cover is strongly recommended in order to prevent spatter. Making stuffed pasta shells is a straightforward process. Preparation time is low, and the oven takes care of the rest. It’s almost certain to get it onto your list of go-to dinners.
More Pasta Casseroles
Pasta bakes are the ideal sort of supper for a family to enjoy together. Each of these recipes prepares a large quantity of food, and each reheats very well, making them ideal for meal prepping.
- Traditionally prepared Lasagna consists of layered noodles and a rich meaty sauce. The chicken Lasagna is made with a white sauce, while the baked ziti is made with noodles and a meat sauce. Lasagna Roll-Ups are the quickest and most convenient method to serve lasagna. The chicken tetrazzini are served in a cheesy cream sauce.
Stuffed Shells Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes Preparation time: 45 minutes Time allotted: 1 hour Shells stuffed with ricotta, parmesan, and melty mozzarella cheese are a classic Italian dish. Stuffed Pasta Shells are usually a hit since they are filling and reheat nicely. Natasha Kravchuk is a Ukrainian actress.
Easy to learn skills Making it will cost you between $12 and $16. Italian stuffed shells (also called ricotta-filled shells, stuffed pasta shells, stuffed shells) Cuisine:Italian The Main Course is the first course in the sequence. Calories:435 Servings:6people
- 15 minutes for preparation Approximately 45 minutes of cooking time Approximately one hour in total. Ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese are stuffed into shells to make Stuffed Shells. They always vanish quickly and reheat wonderfully. Stuffed pasta shells are one of my favorite things to make. Natasha Kravchuk is a model and actress who lives in Kiev, Ukraine. Expertise required: none Approximately $12-$16 in materials and time to complete. filled shells with ricotta, stuffed pasta shells, packed shells with ricotta Cuisine:Italian The Main Course is the course that everyone should take. Calories:435 Servings:6people
Nutritional Values Recipe for Stuffed Shells Amount Per Serving Calories435Calories from Fat 189 percent Daily Value*Fat21g32 percent Saturated Fat 13g Calories from Fat 189 percent Daily Value* 81 percent of the population 1 gram of trans fat Cholesterol103mg Sodium1542mg is 34% of the total. A total of 67 percent potassium (639mg) and 18 percent carbohydrate (32g) were consumed. 3g13 percent dietary fiber Sugar (78 percent) Protein (30 percent) 60 percent of the population Vitamin A (1414 IU) is an antioxidant.
Hello and welcome to my kitchen! Natasha’s Kitchen is my personal blog, and I am the author of the book Natasha’s Kitchen Cookbook (since 2009). My husband and I operate this site together, and we only share the recipes that have been tried and proven in our own homes with you. Thank you for taking the time to visit! We are overjoyed that you have arrived. Continue reading more posts by Natasha.
Stuffed Shells III
This is the third time I’ve cooked it, and I continue to like it. I’ve learned that if I make the filling first and keep it in the fridge for a few hours while preparing the rest of the ingredients, the filling gets firmer and SO much simpler and neater to stuff into the shells afterward.
Most helpful critical review
In this case, I’ll give it three stars because the recipe is an excellent starting point. When prepared according to the recipe directions, this yields enough shells for two trays of clams. This recipe, on the other hand, required more than a few tweaks. The following modifications were done by me. Instead of two teaspoons of salt, use one teaspoon. 4 ounces of parmesan cheese in total (two in the filling and two in the sauce). I made a substitution for the parsley by using Italian Seasoning.
Instead of mushrooms, I used Italian sausage for the mushrooms in the sauce.
With the modifications made, my fiancé declared that he could “eat himself into the hospital” by eating so many of the shells he had prepared with the modifications.
1216 people have rated this item.
- 5star ratings received: 801
- 4star ratings received: 324
- 3star values totaled 64
- 2star values totaled 13
- 1star values totaled 14.
This is the third time I’ve cooked it, and I continue to like it. I’ve learned that if I make the filling first and keep it in the fridge for a few hours while preparing the rest of the ingredients, the filling gets firmer and SO much simpler and neater to stuff into the shells afterward. This dish is a hit with my family!
- My three-year-old consumes shell after shell!
- In a large ziploc bag, I place the filling, seal the bag, cut a little slit in one of the bottom corners, and squeeze the filling into the shells – no mess!
- One is consumed immediately, while the other is placed in the freezer for later use.
- Read moreQuality comparable to a restaurant!
- I used lowfat ricotta cheese and just 3/4 cup mozzarella + 1/2 cup parmesan in the filling (adding 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, and I would do that again), and skipped the cheese in the sauce, instead dusting a little parmesan on top after baking to make it look nice after baking.
- After baking, the sauce became too dry, so I’ll cover it with aluminum foil initially and remove it during the last 10 minutes or so of baking the next time.
- Continue readingAdvertisement In this case, I’ll give it three stars because the recipe is an excellent starting point.
This recipe, on the other hand, required more than a few tweaks.
Instead of two teaspoons of salt, use one teaspoon.
I made a substitution for the parsley by using Italian Seasoning.
Instead of mushrooms, I used Italian sausage for the mushrooms in the sauce.
With the modifications made, my fiancé declared that he could “eat himself into the hospital” by eating so many of the shells he had prepared with the modifications.
There was no comparison between this recipe and your typical authentic Italian stuffed shells that you can purchase at your local Italian deli (and my family has been in the industry for years), so it gets a thumbs up for that!
- There were a few of things I adjusted, and they turned out perfectly!
- I tweaked the recipe by adding a bit extra ricotta to taste in order to make it less cheesy while yet keeping it creamy.
- I created a standard handmade Italian tomato sauce for this dish.
- In addition, I did not make this meal seem like a deep dish piiza, as the recipe specifies.
Because my husband isn’t a fan of “meatless” dinners, I cooked around 1/2 pound of ground beef and mixed it into the spaghetti sauce before pouring it over the shells and serving.
- In addition, I omitted the mushrooms and used only around 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Continue readingAdvertisement HALF THE SALT IS SUFFICIENT!
- I made the mistake of not reading the reviews before creating my dish, which resulted in it being far too salty.
- I used Classico Italian sausage spaghetti sauce and threw in some mushrooms for good measure.
- I’d also make twice the sauce if I were you.
- I can’t conceive that one jar would be sufficient for the entire dish.
The filling for these shells is out of this world delicious.
- I didn’t make many changes, save for the fact that I used fresh parsley and added some fresh basil.
- Thank you very much for sharing the recipe!
- My spouse has attempted a number of various recipes, all of which have failed miserably.
- It only takes a few minutes of preparation time.
- I believe that was a little too salty, but it was still good.
- Thank you for a wonderful recipe!
Classic Stuffed Shells – Make The Best Stuffed Shells For The Family
Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, three cheeses, and homemade marinara sauce are the classic dish to serve at any gathering or party. This recipe for filled shells is particularly cheesy and created with fresh herbs and garlic tastes to complement the cheese. The entire dish will take around 45 minutes to prepare, although the shells can be prepared ahead of time and stuffed. I usually advocate making your own Marinara Sauce, which can be done ahead of time with little effort on your part. Added sauce should be created so that you have enough to make some Homemade Lasagna as an extra treat.
So much warmth packed into a single simple pasta dish. Jumbo pasta shells are packed with a delectable three-cheese concoction consisting of ricotta cheese, shredded whole milk Mozzarella cheese, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, then baked until the cheese is melted. Fresh herbs, like as basil and parsley, are a great way to give the filling a little additional taste and texture. Don’t forget to add a pinch of oregano and a clove or two of fresh garlic. These delicious ricotta stuffed shells are baked in a delicious homemade marinara sauce, and they are really delicious.
Alternatively, you may add your favorite store-bought sauce to make it even more convenient.
Add a sprinkling of oregano to the top and bake until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED SHELLS
To make filled shells, there are four essential procedures to follow: cook the pasta, prepare the ricotta filling, stuff the shells, and bake them. Preheat the oven to 350°F and gently coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Preparation Instructions: Cook the jumbo shells pasta according to the package directions until they are al dente. Because they will continue cooking in the oven, you want the shells to be just slightly undercooked when you cook them. Once the rice is done, drain it and leave it aside until it is cold enough to handle.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the ingredients for the filling.
- Using a fork, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients until they are uniformly distributed across the dish.
- Fill each shell with approximately 1.5-2 teaspoons of the ricotta filling and set it in the pan to bake.
- Instead, position shells seam up in the pan.
Leftover shells should be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. Cooked filled shells will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored properly.
CAN STUFFED SHELLS BE MADE AHEAD?
Absolutely! Stuffed shells can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Prepare the giant shells and fill each shell with a spoonful of the ricotta filling. Using an airtight container or a baking dish that can be covered with plastic wrap, store them until needed. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped and put it in the refrigerator for a day or two. I wouldn’t advocate preparing the stuffed shells more than a day ahead of time, though. When done, place the shells in a baking dish, cover with marinara sauce, and top with Mozzarella cheese and herbs.
HOW TO FREEZE STUFFED SHELLS
When it comes to freezing packed shells, you have a few alternatives. It is possible to freeze it with or without the sauce. You may bake it right out of the freezer, or you can let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator for several hours beforehand. RECOMMENDATION: If you are intending on freezing the stuffed shells, prepare them in the baking dish lined with aluminum foil. This will make it simple to cover and freeze the dish before baking it.
To freeze stuffed shells without sauce:
Prepare the giant shells and fill each shell with a spoonful of the ricotta filling. Place the shells in an aluminum baking dish and place them in the freezer for approximately 2 hours. The shells should be placed in a big freezer zip-lock bag or an airtight freezer container with a cover once they have been frozen. If using frozen shells, place them in a baking dish and top with Mozzarella cheese and fresh herbs when you’re ready to bake them. 30 minutes in the oven with a layer of aluminum foil covering the dish.
To freeze stuffed shells with sauce:
Even more straightforward is the process of freezing packed shells with sauce. To prepare the shells, line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Prepare the stuffed shells in accordance with the recipe, up to the point when they will be baked. Instead of baking it, cover it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. My recommendation is to wrap the pan twice, first with a layer of plastic wrap all around and then with a layer of aluminum foil all around before baking. Make it completely airtight.
Stuffed shells can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
If you are baking shells that have been frozen, remove them from the plastic wrap and cover the baking pan with a layer of aluminum foil.
Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven.
SOME MORE COMFORTING RECIPES TO TRY:
Mac and cheese prepared from scratch Penne with Roasted Garlic in the Oven Fettuccine with a Creamy Sauce Macaroni and Cheese in the Oven Gnocchi with Garlic and Butter Made in Minutes If you prepare any of my recipes and post them on Instagram, be sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and willcookforsmiles so that I can see what you came up with!
Connect with Will Cook For Smiles on social media! Make sure you click on the link below and subscribe to my social media accounts so that you never miss a dish. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so that you don’t miss out on any new recipes. PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
- Jumbo shells (eight ounces) 18 shells, with a few more thrown in for good measure
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- A 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8-ounce container of shredded mozzarella cheese divided into half
- 1/2-cup container of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced parsleyfresh or dried
- 1 tablespoon minced basil fresh (or dried)
- 1 teaspoon dried (or dried) oregano
- Freshly cracked black pepper, 3 garlic cloves pressed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and gently coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray
- TIP: Season the water that the pasta is cooked in to give it a more flavorful flavor. TIP: This recipe creates approximately 18 packed shells
- However, you should prepare 2-3 extra shells in case any of them split and break apart. Preparation Instructions: Cook the jumbo shells pasta according to the package directions until they are al dente. In order for the shells to complete cooking in the oven, you want them to be just little undercooked. Once the rice is done, drain it and leave it aside until it is cold enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the ricotta cheese, egg, herbs, crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and seasoning in a mixing dish. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the filling. Using a fork, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients until they are uniformly distributed across the dish. (Reserve approximately a third of a cup of shredded Mozzarella for the topping.)
- Spread approximately 3 cups of marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly
- Each shell should be filled with around 1.5-2 teaspoons of ricotta filling before being placed in the pan. TIP: I don’t recommend placing shells seam down in the pan since the filling frequently seeps out of the shells. Instead, position shells seam up in the pan. Bake for around 20-25 minutes, depending on how much Mozzarella cheese and oregano you want to use on each shell.
Lyubov Brooke created all of the photos and writing for Will Cook For Smiles. Please do not use any of my photographs without first obtaining permission from me. If you include one of my blogs in a collection or feature, please provide a link back to this article so that others may get the recipe. Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is not guaranteed to be 100 percent correct due to the fact that most ingredients and brands have a little variance in their nutritional content. 454 kcal|39 g carbohydrates|27 g protein|21 g fat (12 g saturated fat)|Cholesterol: 98 mg|Sodium: 1085 mg|Potassium: 622 mg|Fiber: 3 g sugar: 6 g vitamin A: 1285 IU vitamin C: 9.9 mg calcium: 470 mg iron: 2.5 mcg calorie count Mention @willcookforsmiles and use the hashtag #willcookforsmiles in your post.
The most recent update was made on May 10, 2020.
Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe
Our simple stuffed pasta shells are loaded with ground chicken, creamy ricotta cheese, Italian spices, and vivid fresh basil, making them a crowd favourite.
Ditch Your Weeknight Lasagna Routine For These Cheesy Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells!
This rich pasta dish, which is bursting with the typical aromas of Italy, is absolutely amazing. If you’ve never cooked stuffed shells before, trust us when we say they’re simple, tasty, and take little time to put together. Whatever your needs are, from frantic weeknights to a last-minute dinner party, they’ll be sure to please even the most difficult audience.
How Do You Make Stuffed Shells?
Pasta dishes have never failed to wow me, and these filled shells are certainly no exception. The classic mix of pasta, gooey melted cheese, and aromatic, herb-infused tomato sauce is simply exquisite and oh-so-comforting, and it’s one of my favorites. What’s the best part? This recipe for stuffed shells comes together quickly and easily in a few simple steps:
- Bring the shells to a boil. You want them to be a bit soft but not overcooked because they’ll be baking in the oven after they’ve been stuffed
- Keep an eye on them while they’re cooking. In a large mixing bowl, combine the seasoned ground chicken, the cheese, the basil, and the spinach
- Fill the big pasta shells with the prepared sauce and arrange them in a casserole dish
- Choose your favorite spaghetti sauce and ladle it generously over the packed shells.
It was at my localFred Meyer Store that I discovered the Private Selection brandtomato sauce (the Basilico TomatoBasil Sauceis my personal favorite!) that we would be utilizing in this recipe! My appreciation for the fact that this intensely fragrant tomato sauce is created from an actual recipe and that it contains high-quality components such as fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and garlic is well-founded.
What Makes These the Best Stuffed Pasta Shells?
Although some may consider me insane, I have been giving my children pasta using ground chicken rather than the more customary ground beef for years. Not everyone I’ve given it to has been a fan as much as I am, but my children will not eat it any other way than the way I prepare it. I enjoy how tender ground chicken can be (when properly seasoned), and I appreciate that chicken is a little more nutritious than beef. Stuffed into a pasta shell with creamy cheese and a generous amount of sauce, you’ve got a match made in heaven!
- Italian herbs, fennel seed, and garlic infuse the ground chicken with a plethora of flavor, and the recipe comes together beautifully. Following that, there will be not one, but two types of cheese! In this filled shell dish, mozzarella reigns supreme for its stringy, gratifying gooey cheese pull, while creamy ricotta adds another layer of delicate, pillowyness by way of its pillowy texture. Fresh basil brightens the entire dish and lends a sense of summertime lightness to the overall presentation. There’s nothing quite like the flavor of fresh basil—I prefer to use it frequently and throughout the year, if at all feasible
- We cannot emphasize enough how critical it is to use a high-quality pasta sauce in order to provide an extra punch of flavor to your dish. Selection on a private basis Basilico TomatoBasil Sauce is a must-have
Tips For Making These Cheesy Stuffed Shells a Success:
Even though filled shells might seem overwhelming at first glance, they are actually a delicious and simple dinner that is perfect for the whole family or even a small gathering of friends.
This will be the most lauded dish you’ve prepared all year:
- Season the pasta water with salt. Always! Not enough emphasis can be placed on the fact that you want the water in which you boil your pasta shells to be as salty as the sea. Preparing your big pasta shells for one minute shorter than the package directions is recommended. To ensure that they continue to soften while baking beneath all of the cheese deliciousness, you want them to be slightly undercooked. Pipe the filling into the shells using a big ziplock bag with one corner trimmed off to make it easier to handle. This will assist to ensure that the shells maintain their form, as well as save you time and keep your kitchen tidy. You are not have to measure the filling precisely, but a decent rule of thumb is to aim for around two teaspoons of filling per pasta shell. Make use of high-quality ingredients. When combined with fresh basil and Fred Meyer’s Private Selection Basilico TomatoBasil Sauce, this meal will shine even brighter than before—you will notice the difference right away.
More Jarred Pasta Sauce Recipes.
It’s a cozy evening dinner that we enjoy serving any time of year, but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we have big plans for these cheese filled shells that we’re excited to share with you today. If you believe that a hearty pasta meal might put you in the mood for romance, here are a few of our other recommendations:
- One-Pot Creamy Mediterranean Chicken Pasta
- Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce
- Baked Penne Alla Vodka
Tools You’ll Need:
- A big skillet, a large bowl, a cheese grater, and a 9 x 13 pan are all needed.
Stuffed Shells Success Story?
Is it possible for you to tell us about your experience making these simple filled shells? Post a photo on Instagram with the hashtags @themodernproper and themodernpropers so that we may join you in celebrating your dinner victory. Enjoy your meal. This sponsored post was written by TMP on behalf ofFred Meyer in collaboration withKroger, and it is available here. All of the thoughts and text on this page are our own. Thank you for your continued support of the companies we like.
Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells
- Ground chicken, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, 3 tablespoons salt, 2 garlic cloves, minced. Ingredients: 1lb ground chicken 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 tablespoon fennel seeds 1 tablespoon salt 2 garlic cloves, minced 15 ounces 16 ounces of ricotta cheese Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 12 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 6 basil leaves, julienned
- 2 cups tomato sauce 3 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 12-oz boxJumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente
- 1 24-oz jarPrivate selection tomato sauce (about 3 cups)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. A large pan over high heat should be used to sear the chicken, garlic, Italian seasoning, fennel, and salt, until the liquid has evaporated. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, ricotta, 2 12 cups mozzarella, the parmesan, the basil, and the spinach
- Mix well. Fill each (al dente) shell with 2 heaping teaspoons of the chicken/cheese mixture
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F. Fill the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a small amount of sauce. Place the shells on the sauce, meat side up, and then cover with the remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese
- Repeat. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
- 548 calories
- 45 grams of protein
- 42 grams of carbohydrates
- 20 grams of total fat
- 3 grams of dietary fiber
- 101 milligrams of cholesterol
- 1249 milligrams of sodium
- 4 grams of total sugars
- There are 8 servings in total, with each serving containing 548 calories.
Well, how was it?
- Have you tried this dish once or twice (or many, many more times than that)? What did you think of it? Please let us know how it went by clicking on the Write a Review button above.
Baked Pasta Shells Recipe
Pasta Shells that have been baked For James Reps, photography by Andrew McCaul; styling by Gerri Williams
Recipe Summary test
Preparation time: 20 minutes scook: 15 minutes scook total time: 35 minutes Recipe yield: 8 servingsNutrition informationAdvertisement
- 215-ounce tubs ricotta
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 12 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- A 124-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 112-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- The first step is to bring a big pot of salted water to a simmer. Cook the shells until they are barely soft. Drain the water and let it aside to cool a little. Advertisement
- Step 2
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing basin, combine the ricotta, basil, Parmesan, and garlic. Adding salt to the dish will make it taste better. Step 3: Spread half of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish that can be baked under the broiler. Fill the shells with the ricotta mixture and arrange them on a baking dish with the open sides facing up. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the leftover marinara is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted. Turn the oven to the broil setting and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown. Serve as soon as possible
Per serving: 479 calories; 22 grams of fat (12 grams of saturated fat); 24 grams of protein; 45 grams of carbs (5 grams of fiber); 55 milligrams of cholesterol; 814 milligrams of sodium
Pirate Pasta Shells
Preparation time: 25 minutes 30 minutes in the oven
12 servings (per recipe) Grandfather enjoyed pirate stories as much as a delicious bowl of spaghetti. Whenever we prepare his filled shells, we are reminded of his favorite tropical destinations and adventures. — Kathy Noll of Laureldale, Pennsylvania, sent in this photo. Recipe photo courtesy of Taste of Home for Pirate Pasta Shells.
- 3 fresh goat cheese logs (11 ounces each) or 2 carton (15 ounce) whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup finely minced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 jar (24 ounce) marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Zucchini strips, optional
- Additional marinara sauce, optional. 1 package (12 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make al dente pasta shells according to package directions
- Drain well after cooking
- Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt in a large mixing bowl. 1-1/4 cups marinara sauce should be spread into a prepared 13×9-inch baking dish
- Fill each shell with 1 rounded spoonful of the cheese mixture and lay on top of the sauce to serve. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the shells. Using mozzarella cheese, top the dish. Sliced zucchini strips can be used to create an X pattern on the top if desired. 25 minutes at 350°F with the lid on. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, uncovered, or until the dish is cooked through and the cheese has melted. Additional sauce can be heated and served with the shells if desired.
3 filled shells have 305 calories, 13 grams of fat (8 grams of saturated fat), 61 milligrams of cholesterol, 762 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates (4 grams of sugars, 2 grams of fiber), and 16 grams of protein.
Easy Stuffed Shells
Stuffed Shells are a delicious evening supper option that is quick and easy to prepare. Jumbo pasta shells are packed with a smooth, creamy, cheesy filling that is seasoned with fresh herbs and baked until the filling is absolutely right. Don’t forget to try these Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks or these The BEST Dinner Rolls to accompany these Stuffed Shells. Friendship Dairies cottage cheese provided the sponsorship for this content.
Cooking simple pasta recipes for weekday dinners is one of my favorite things to do. Stuffed Shells is one of my faves. When it comes to filled shells, there’s just something so warm and inviting about them. Pasta shells are filled with cheese delight and baked to perfection in a flavorful marinara sauce, which is served on the side. Put together a tasty salad and serve it with some dinner rolls, and you’re ready to go racing. My recipe for filled shells today includes an interesting little tweak on the traditional dish.
Stuffed Shells Filling
The filling for these shells is quite basic, but it can be readily customized to your liking. Do you want to include spinach? It’s not an issue. Frozen cooked spinach that has been well-drained can be added directly to the recipe. Do you have any leftover Italian sausage or ground beef hanging around the house? This recipe is ideal for putting it to good use! Depending on your preference, you may cook it and include it into the sauce, or you can just incorporate it into the mixture before stuffing the shells.
With less calories and fat, as well as a beautifully smooth consistency, cottage cheese makes a delicious filling with just the perfect amount of taste and texture.
If you like, you may use little curd cottage cheese for the whipped cream if you don’t have any on hand. In addition, the following substances can be found in the filling:
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you can use Rarmigiano Reggiano, a Parmigiano Romano mix, or any other genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano product)
- The ingredients are as follows: egg
- Garlic (my recipe asks for one to two cloves, so use your judgment)
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh basil leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
How To Stuff Shells
As a person who values efficiency, I can tell you that it would take me around 10 minutes to fill the shells with a spoon. That’s just not in me to do it right now. Aside from that, it may be really dirty. I prefer to spoon the filling into a big pastry bag or plastic bag and make a small hole in the corner of the bag. The shells fill up so nicely, and they’re so simple to make! You’ll have the shells filled in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. To show how simple it is, watch the video below.
In these instances, I just put the leftovers in a small baking dish or ramekin and try to prepare a substantial portion for lunch the following day.
Dinner just does not come much more delicious than this, and I am confident that you will enjoy these delicious filled shells!
More Dinner Favorites
- Easy Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
- Easy Lazy Day Lasagna
- The Ultimate Crockpot Chili Recipe
- One Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
- The Ultimate Chicken Fried Steak Recipe with Gravy
How To Make Stuffed Shells
Stuffed Shells are a delicious evening supper option that is quick and easy to prepare. Jumbo pasta shells are packed with a smooth, creamy, cheesy filling that is seasoned with fresh herbs and baked until the filling is absolutely right. Course Dinner, first course, second course, main course Pasta, filled shells, and other Italian dishes are included in this category. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time is 25 minutes. Time allotted: 35 minutes 10 Calories348kcal per serving
- A dozen jumbo pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 30 ounces whipped cottage cheese
- 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves finely chopped (about 8 to 10 leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 28 ounce marinara sauce
- 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Half of the marinara sauce should be spread on the bottom of the dish. Remove from consideration
- Prepare a big saucepan of salted water by bringing it to a boil. Continue to boil pasta shells until they are 3 minutes short of being done (as directed on the box). Drain the pasta shells and rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Remove from consideration
- In a large mixing bowl, add the beaten cottage cheese, the Parmesan cheese, the egg, the garlic, the parsley, the basil, the salt, and the pepper
- Mix well. Using a spoon, spoon the mixture into the shells and lay them on the baking dish, nestling them in the sauce
- Cover the shells with the leftover sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of them. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture is heated and bubbling. Serve as soon as possible
calorie count 348kcal|carbohydrate count 36g|protein count 26g|fat count 10g|saturated fat count 6g|cholesterol count 51 mg|sodium count 1933 mg|potassium count 499 mg|fiber count 2g|sugar count 6g|vitamin A: 785IU|vitamin C: 6.4mg|calcium count 412mg|iron count 1.8mg For a complete list of supper recipes, visitHERE. For a complete list of dessert recipes, visitHERE. Sign up to get notifications whenever I publish a new recipe! Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin’ for even more fantastic ideas.
Have a great day!
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Medium onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
For the Filling and Assembly:
- 1 pound fresh ricotta (about 2 cups)
- 10 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 12 ounces jumbo shells
- 5 12 ounces Parmesan, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 garlic clove
- To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Toss in the onion and a sprinkle of salt and simmer, turning occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste has darkened a shade from the original color of the paste. Bring the sauce to a simmer after stirring in the tomato purée and seasoning with salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened somewhat, 20 to 30 minutes, after covering halfway to prevent splattering. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bringing a big pot of salted water to a boil is step one. Prepare the filling by doing the following: 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, and the egg yolks should be combined in a medium-sized mixing dish before serving. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper after grating the garlic immediately into the bowl of ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined, then put away. Bring the shells to a boil and cook until they are just shy of al dente. Note: You should cook the shells for about 2 minutes less than the minimum time specified on the box since they will continue to cook in the oven after they are taken out of the oven in Step 5. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to cool it down, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Count out a total of 24 shells. (You will have boiled off more shells than would fit in the dish as a precautionary measure in case any rip. (Save the remaining sauce for future use.) Stir in the pasta water until well combined, then transfer half of the sauce to a 3-quart/9-by-13-inch baking dish and distribute it evenly. Fill each of the 24 shells with about 2 teaspoons of the filling, arranging the stuffed shells in a line in the baking dish as you go. Then, using the remaining sauce to coat each shell, top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup Parmesan cheeses
- Bake for 30 minutes, keeping the dish securely covered with aluminum foil. Take off the aluminum foil and continue baking until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. (If you want to brown the cheese, you may place it on the broiler for a few minutes.) Allow for 5 minutes of resting time before serving
Comfort food at its finest, these filled shells are a saucy, cheesy delight! Their creamy, savory filling is made up of fresh spinach, lemon zest, and ricotta cheese, and they are baked to perfection. Comfort food at its finest, these filled shells are a spicy, cheesy delight. In this dish, the chewy pasta pairs beautifully with the creamy ricotta filling, and marinara (whether purchased or cooked from scratch) adds the appropriate tangy touch to both. Whenever I finish a serving, I invariably find myself back in the kitchen, unable to resist the temptation of a second helping.
Easy to make (and even better to make ahead of time!
If you’re throwing a dinner party or get-together this season, this would be a terrific meal to have on the menu as an appetizer.
Stuffed Shells Recipe Ingredients
For this filled shells dish, you will need a total of about ten basic components.
I prefer to break them down into three categories:
- The shells– In order to create this dish, you’ll need giant pasta shells. Alternatively, you may prepare your own homemade marinara sauce using your favorite store-bought tomato sauce (I like Rao’s). Both are excellent
- The ricotta filling, on the other hand, is a combination of ricotta cheese and steamed, finely chopped fresh spinach. I also add dried oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, garlic, and shredded pecorino cheese to give the dish a richer taste and depth.
The whole recipe, including measurements, may be seen below.
How to Make Stuffed Shells
But although while these stuffed shells are a rather remarkable dish – they’re tasty, warm, and perfect for entertaining – they’re also quite simple to prepare! The steps in this recipe are as follows: First and foremost, let’s get this party started! You’ll need to steam the spinach first before you can start putting the mixture together. Remove it from the fire when it’s soft and brilliant green, lay it in a strainer, and wring out any extra liquid before serving. Make a rough slicing motion with it.
- In the meantime, prepare the spaghetti.
- It’ll finish cooking in the oven once it’s done.
- This is the exciting part!
- The filling should be enough to fill 18-20 shells if it is divided evenly.
- 2 cups marinara sauce should be spread on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- For those who like to prepare this recipe ahead of time, you may arrange the stuffed shells in a baking dish, cover it with aluminum foil, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
- See the recipe’s notes for details on how to freeze the dish.
Stuffed Shells Serving Suggestions
Decorate the stuffed shells with more pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese and a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley just before serving. Serve them with more marinara on the side to mop up the sauce. I prefer to spread the sauce over the shells as I eat it so that I can receive a generous amount of sauce in each bite. Finish the meal with a fresh green salad and some nice bread. I frequently serve these stuffed shells with my Homemade Caesar Salad, but arugula salad, beet salad, or a simple green salad would all be excellent accompaniments to this dish.
Stick to a crusty loaf of bread, or experiment with rosemary focaccia, garlic knots, or ordinary rolls.
More Favorite Pasta Recipes
If you enjoy this filled shells recipe, you might also like one of these warm pasta dishes:
- Easy Baked Ziti, Best Vegetarian Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Homemade Mac & Cheese, Tortellini Soup, or any of these 25 Easy Pasta Recipes are all excellent choices.
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves4 These spinach and ricotta filled shells make for a delicious and warm meal! If you want to prepare ahead of time, you may stuff the shells and lay them in the baking dish with the marinara up to 4 hours before serving. Wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. After that, it’s only a matter of baking and eating!
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (additional salt for the pasta water)
- 18 to 20 jumbo pasta shells
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- 5 ounces spinach
- 2 cups (16 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese (additional pecorino cheese for sprinkling)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce* (plus a little more for serving)
- Chopped parsley (for garnishing)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a steamer basket, place the spinach and lay it over a saucepan filled with one inch of water. Toss the spinach in the boiling water for 1 minute, then cover and let it steam for another 1 minute, until it has wilted. Drain and cut the spinach after transferring it to a sieve to press off the excess water
- Cook the pasta shells for 10 minutes, or until they are al dente, in a big pot of salted boiling water until they are tender. Drain the beans and sprinkle them with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking together during cooking
- Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the spinach with the ricotta, pecorino Romano, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper
- Using the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, spread the marinara evenly. Fill each shell with the contents and arrange them in the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Serve with more marinara sauce on the side.
The marinara sauce Rao’s Marinara is our absolute favorite store-bought marinara sauce. This recipe keeps nicely in the freezer! After you’ve stacked the shells in the baking dish, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in the freezer. Transfer the dish to the refrigerator approximately 10 hours before you want to serve it to allow it to defrost (i.e.
the morning that you plan to serve them for dinner). Remove the dish from the fridge and set it aside to come to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, or until thawed and well warmed through.