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Home > Main Course > Stuffed Shells Recipe (VIDEO)

Stuffed Shells Recipe (VIDEO)

Ricotta cheese Stuffed Shells are the perfect dinner and it’s a family favorite. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is to make stuffed pasta shells.

Stuffed pasta shells in casserole garnished with parsley

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We love Pasta recipes from Creamy Shrimp Pasta to Shrimp Scampi Pasta and of course our Chicken Pesto Pasta. If you are a fan of pasta, this Stuffed Shells Recipe is a must-try!

Stuffed Shells Video Tutorial

My kids love these stuffed jumbo shells filled with ricotta and melty mozzarella cheese over a bed of Marinara Sauce. They always disappear fast and reheat well.

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Cheesy stuffed shell on spoon

What are Stuffed Shells?

Stuffed shells are similar to Italian Manicotti or Cannelloni. Stuffed shells are jumbo pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese filling. Pasta shells are perfect pockets for easy stuffing.

Recipe ingredients with jumbo shells, cheese, marinara, onion and garlic

How to Make Stuffed Pasta Shells

There are 3 main elements to this dish; the pasta, sauce and cheese filling, but the process is easy.

  1. Cook Pasta Shells – according to package instructions in salted water.
  2. Make the Red Sauce – Sautee onions in oil, add garlic, salt pepper, and oregano. Stir in 3 cups of your favorite Marinara Sauce. Pour sauce into a 13×9 casserole dish.
  3. Combine Cheese Sauce – In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, parmesan, 1 egg, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  4. Stuff Shells – The easiest way to portion is to fill a trigger ice cream scoop halfway with cheese filling then transfer it into the shell. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella over the pasta shells
  5. Bake – Cover with foil, and bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes then broil uncovered for 2-4 minutes.
Step by step tutorial for making stuffed shells

Common Questions

Where to buy jumbo shell pasta?

Jumbo shells are sold in most grocery stores usually in the pasta isle.

How to keep pasta shells from sticking together?

Once shells are cooked to al dente, drain the hot water then fill with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the pasta from sticking.

What is Al dente?

Al dente means firm to the bite. Most package instructions will give you timings for perfectly cooked al dente pasta. Do not overcook shells or they will be flimsy and hard to stuff.

Can I use a glass casserole?

Yes, this will work great in a glass casserole dish. Broiling is not recommended with glass bakeware so once you remove the foil, increase the heat to about 475˚F and bake for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Can I substitute ricotta?

The best substitute for ricotta is drained and mashed plain cottage cheese.

Baked Stuffed Shells with ricotta in casserole

Serve With

We love to serve this as a vegetarian main course paired with Garlic Bread and a simple side salad or veggies

Ricotta Stuffed Shells served on a plate

Make-Ahead

  • To Refrigerate: Assemble, cover with foil and refrigerate unbaked shells for 1-2 days then bake as directed, adding 5 minutes to the bake time if baking a chilled casserole. You can also refrigerate a fully cooked and cooled lasagna.
  • Freezing: Fully assemble roll-ups in a casserole dish (without baking), cover tightly with foil, and freeze up to 3 months. Bake from frozen (covered with foil) at 375˚F for about 45 minutes.
  • Reheating: Warm portions in the microwave or oven until roll-ups are heated through and cheese is melted.

Microwaving Tip: To retain moisture, add a drizzle of water over your food. To prevent splatter, we highly recommend using a plate cover.

Stuffed shells made ahead in baking dish

Stuffed pasta shells truly are easy to make. The prep time is minimal and the oven does the rest. It’s sure to end up on your list of go-to dinners.

More Pasta Casseroles

Pasta bakes are the best kind of family-friendly dinner. Each of these recipes makes a big batch and each reheats really well which is perfect for meal prep. 

Stuffed Shells Recipe

5 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
stuffed shells in casserole dish

Stuffed Shells filled with ricotta, parmesan, and melty mozzarella cheese. Stuffed Pasta Shells always disappear fast and reheat well.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $12-$16
Keyword: ricotta stuffed shells, stuffed pasta shells, stuffed shells
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main Course
Calories: 435 kcal
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook Pasta: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cook shells in salted water according to pacakge instructions (stirring several times to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot), then drain and fill pot with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep shells from sticking to each other.

  2. Make Sauce: In a deep pan over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté chopped onion until softened and golden (3-5 min). Add minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp oregano. Sauté another 1 minute stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant. Add 3 cups marinara and bring to a uniform boil then simmer for 2 minutes and pour the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.

  3. Cheese Filling: In a large bowl, add 15 oz ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella, 1/3 cup parmesan, 1 egg, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir until well combined.

  4. Stuff Shells: Use about 1/2 ice cream scoop or just until filled (do not overstuff). Place them in the casserole over the marinara sauce in a single layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese over the top.

  5. Bake: Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling at the edges. Remove foil and broil for 2-4 minutes to lightly brown the cheese. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley to serve.

Nutrition Facts
Stuffed Shells Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 435 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 1542mg67%
Potassium 639mg18%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 1414IU28%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 691mg69%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Lidiya Denishchich
    February 19, 2021

    Just threw this into the oven and I’m sure it’ll turn out delicious (as always!) I noticed that in the printable version of the recipe it says 375 degrees for the oven temp but in the recipe above it, it says to preheat to 350.. I’m sure it doesn’t make much of a difference but just wanted to let you know 😁

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 22, 2021

      Hi Lidiya, thank you for letting me know. I fixed the typo and 375 is correct. Thank you again!

      Reply

  • Monica Garcia
    February 19, 2021

    This sounds so good! I have two big boys at home and I’d like to make these a little more filling. Could I add cooked chicken and cooked broccoli to the ricotta filling? Would I need to add or take away any of the cheeses? Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. When I’m stumped for something to make for dinner, I head straight to your website!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 19, 2021

      Hi Monica, I think that would work. Please share with us how it goes if you give that a try

      Reply

  • Stephanie Bougdanos
    February 14, 2021

    I made this tonight for Valentine’s Day dinner at home ❤️😋
    So easy and yummy. Natasha, thank you again for another great recipe! I posted my picture on your Facebook comments of this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 14, 2021

      Thanks for your great review and for sharing a photo too. I’ll definitely check that out, Stephanie!

      Reply

  • Mary
    February 14, 2021

    Hi Natasha.
    My husband and I made the Stuffed Shells and they turned out wonderful great flavor.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 14, 2021

      Hi Mary, great to hear that you both enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Corinne
    February 11, 2021

    I’m making this tonight! So excited!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 11, 2021

      Exciting! Please share with us how it goes, Corinne.

      Reply

  • Alia
    February 10, 2021

    What can you substitute parsley for?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 10, 2021

      Hi Alia, you can try tarragon or basil if you like those better

      Reply

  • Ebony
    February 5, 2021

    My family and kids loved this! It will be a staple in my household. Im glad that doesn’t have meat but taste so good! Thank you Natasha! ❤️👍🏽😁

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 6, 2021

      That is the best when kids love what we parents make. That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Renee Redding
    February 5, 2021

    I made this for dinner last week. It was delicious and easy to make. I will definitely make it again. I really love your recipes they are easy to make and I love the videos.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 5, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Mona
    February 5, 2021

    I made this recipe and it is amazing. Except my question is you used 12 jumbo shells. Did you use up all the ricotta cheese mix and the marinara sauce??? My dish fit about 8/9 shells, and I still had so much cheese mix and so much sauce. When I baked my dish the taste was good and I felt the sauce was too much. The left over cheese mix I made another dish with 9 shells, and used sauce and froze it. I still have cheese mixture and still have enough sauce ! I used exactly the same amount ingredients in the list.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 6, 2021

      Hi Mona, I did use 20 jumbo shells and it was a 13×9 casserole dish. A smaller dish would fit less and it is enough sauce to fill 20 jumbo shells. There should not be any extra after filling 20 of them.

      Reply

      • Mona Abbas
        February 7, 2021

        Thank you!! Now I realized my mistake, you have 20 shells listed I somehow read it 12 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ Sorry!!! But it sure is a good dish! I have one frozen for another time

        Reply

  • Jenifer Skiba
    February 4, 2021

    Hi Natasha!! I made this for dinner the other night and to say that my family loved it is an understatement!!! They couldn’t stop raving about it! It’s been a few days and all of us are still talking about it. I’m sure that I will be making it for dinner again very soon!! Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 5, 2021

      Very nice! So good to know that you and your family enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  • Belle
    February 1, 2021

    I cooked this recipe yesterday for Sunday supper. My family really enjoyed the meal.
    I servered with the shells a salad and garlic bread. In the future, I will add more sauce. I really enjoy watching your videos..

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 1, 2021

      Very nice, Belle. Thanks for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Robyn
    January 29, 2021

    Serves 6 people but makes 20? 😂 lol who gets the other 2?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 29, 2021

      The lucky ones. ha ha!! I figured if I can fit 2 more in the casserole dish, why not?

      Reply

  • Heather
    January 29, 2021

    Came back to write a comment after making last night for dinner. This was the best cheesy pasta dish I’ve ever had – at home, or in a restaurant! Better than my favorite lasagna or manicotti. Thank you sincerely for this recipe! Even my picky daughter said “Mom this is so good. You should make this more.”
    It is currently 5:00 am and I am up for work. I couldn’t resist two more warmed up for breakfast. I seriously dreamed of these little babies! You are amazing Natasha!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 29, 2021

      That’s an awesome feedback, Heather. Thank you for sharing your great comments with us, we appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Deanne pucko
    January 28, 2021

    I love your recipes!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 28, 2021

      Great to hear that!

      Reply

  • Randy
    January 28, 2021

    My wife is really into broccoli lately. Would it be possible to use broccoli instead of the parsley?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 28, 2021

      Hi Randy, it will probably be easy to overstuff the shells by adding broccoli since it has more bulk, but I have had a reader report sneaking in veggies into stuffed shells for their kids to eat them.

      Reply

  • Peggy Marshall
    January 28, 2021

    Love your recipes! So easy to follow- things I like to cook and eat!

    Reply

  • Evie Morningdew
    January 28, 2021

    Absolutely delicious

    Reply

  • April
    January 26, 2021

    Making tonight and I can’t wait! Think I’ll add ground beef to the sauce to make my meat eater hubs happy!

    Reply

  • Rosemary
    January 25, 2021

    Delicious, the family loved this recipe.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 25, 2021

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Debbie
    January 24, 2021

    It’s in the oven now. Can’t wait to taste it.
    In making this comment I’m not going to get hundreds of commercial emails am I? Lol I have 24oo emails as of now.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 25, 2021

      Definitely not. I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • SHARYN
    January 24, 2021

    looks great. you should use Italian parsley to be somewhat authentic

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 24, 2021

      Thank you, Sharyn. I imagine that should work too!

      Reply

  • Elisheva
    January 24, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    Thank you for your wonderful and delicious recipes! All I can say is YUMMY!! I’ve made so many of them and they are delicious.

    btw, you seem to think that you need to be smiling and happy and funny in every video. But you can relax and be yourself. You are wonderful as is!
    Can’t wait to make this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 24, 2021

      Thanks for your good feedback and suggestion. I appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Summer
    January 23, 2021

    Can you please share the link to the parmesan cheese grater? I couldnt find in the shop. Thanks!

    Reply

  • Lorna Klotz
    January 23, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    A question….instead of these being filled with cheese, could I use a ground beef mixture for about half of them for a variation of this meal to make it a one dish meal?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2021

      Hi Lorna, this recipe is pretty versatile, it’s hard to say with an experiment, but if you do test that out, I would love to know how you like that.

      Reply

    • sharon s
      January 25, 2021

      I have added hot or sweet sausage to the cheese mixture and even ground beef. I also have made them with a hearty meat sauce on the bottom of the shell and top with cheese layer, both with good results.

      Reply

  • Dorothy M
    January 23, 2021

    I’m going to try cooked chicken in this as well. Thanks for all recipes. You and hubby are a super team.

    Reply

  • Joseph
    January 23, 2021

    photo looks better than all other posts. very nice recipe should say flat leaf parsley rub dry herbs in palms add with onion to create release of more herb oils really Nice Job Natasha “Good Eating” Joseph , really love the job you do. !!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2021

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes, Joseph! Thank you for that thoughtful review.

      Reply

    • Sandi Hesse
      January 24, 2021

      JOSEPH, I have been rubbing my herbs in the palm of my hands for over 55 yrs to release flavor & oils. My home exc teacher taught us that when I was in the 8th grade. Glad to see a guy does this

      Reply

  • Linda
    January 23, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    Love your recipes! Question on the sauce in this one… if you use your homemade marinara, do you still add another 1/2 onion and 3 cloves garlic to that? Or is that only if using a plain store bought one? Can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 24, 2021

      Thank you, Linda! I used homemade marinara sauce too in the recipe and still used onion and garlic to the recipe.

      Reply

      • Linda
        February 7, 2021

        Hi Natasha, made this last night and my family loved it! My son thanked me for making such a delicious meal! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 7, 2021

          I’m so happy to hear that, Linda. I hope you and your family will love every recipe that you will try!

          Reply

  • Aman
    January 23, 2021

    Hi Natasha,

    This looks fantastic. I’ve always had great success with your recipes so I’m excited for this one as well. For the cheese filling, would it be possible to leave out the egg or replace it with something else? One member of our family cannot have eggs.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 23, 2021

      Hi Aman, the recipe would still work if you leave out the egg and make it as eggless stuffed shells.

      Reply

  • Joanna
    January 22, 2021

    Hi Natasha, i want to try this one but i dont have oven. Can i use turbo boiler or microwave for this? And how many minutes to bake it. It’s really mouthwatering when i watch this so yummy 🤤

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2021

      Hi Joanna, I haven’t tried either of these with this recipe. I think the oven is best for a recipe like this.

      Reply

  • Sim Davidson
    January 22, 2021

    Can a pound of ground beef be added to the marinara?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 22, 2021

      Hi Sim, yes, you can sautee 1/2 lb of ground beef with the onion. Also, push the shells down into the sauce afterward. The shells go in easier without the meat in the sauce, but both taste great. Can you tell I’ve experimented with a meat sauce? I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

    • Joseph
      January 23, 2021

      if ya add meat it aint Marinara just make meat balls

      Reply

  • Subheya Idrees
    January 22, 2021

    Your recipes is so yummy thanks for that

    Reply

  • Salma
    January 22, 2021

    I saw someone requested in YouTube for Orange bundt cake recipe also I want to see this recipe from you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 22, 2021

      Hi Salma, I don’t have one yet but thank you for the reminder.

      Reply

  • KELLY Dagastino
    January 22, 2021

    This has always been one of my favorite recipes, thank you so much! I am definitely making this again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 22, 2021

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Natalie
    January 22, 2021

    This is a very family-friendly recipe!! They are filled with everything we like. My kids love how cheesy they are!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 22, 2021

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review!

      Reply

  • Toni
    January 22, 2021

    It was a really huge hit for our dinner last night! Can’t wait to make it again!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 22, 2021

      Hi Toni, I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for sharing your great review.

      Reply

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