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.
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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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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.
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.
- Cook Pasta Shells – according to package instructions in salted water.
- 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.
- Combine Cheese Sauce – In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, parmesan, 1 egg, salt, pepper, and oregano.
- 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
- Bake – Cover with foil, and bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes then broil uncovered for 2-4 minutes.
Jumbo shells are sold in most grocery stores usually in the pasta isle.
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.
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.
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.
The best substitute for ricotta is drained and mashed plain cottage cheese.
We love to serve this as a vegetarian main course paired with Garlic Bread and a simple side salad or veggies
- 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 shells 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 shells 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 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.
- Classic Lasagna – layers of noodles and beefy sauce
- Chicken Lasagna – in white sauce
- Baked Ziti – noodles in meat sauce
- Lasagna Roll-Ups – the easiest way to serve lasagna
- Chicken Tetrazzini – in cheesy cream sauce
Stuffed Shells Recipe
- 20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked to package instructions
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup parsley, plus more to garnish
- Cook Pasta: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cook shells in salted water according to package 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.