These stuffed pasta shells are filled with a tasty cheese mixture and topped with a homemade meat sauce for a delicious and hearty meal.
This hearty Italian shell recipe is easier than you may think.
It starts with a 3 cheese mixture. Ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan are stirred together with eggs and some fresh parsley. This can be done first and placed in the refrigerator while you cook the pasta and the sauce.
I learned this meat sauce recipe from my sister. It's super easy, fresh and can be used on any pasta.
However, if you don't have time or the ingredients for this one, you can use any jarred sauce or your own favorite pasta sauce. Just make sure you have about 4 cups for this pasta shell recipe.
When you fill the shells, place them open side down in your baking pan. This is a 9 by 13 inch glass baking pan and it's a little hard to fit 36 shells. However, once you've squeezed in as many as you can, feel free to stick a few in between the rows.
Save a little shredded cheese for the top.
In the recipe below I stated that this serves 6 people. That's a big portion and just how we like it, but you can feel free to eat as many or as little as you like.
Italian stuffed pasta shells with meat sauce is a wonderful treat at our house. Serve it with a side salad for a complete meal.
Bonus: This recipe also tastes great leftover or you can freeze the extras for another meal.
- 12 oz box of Jumbo Pasta Shells (approx. 36 shells)
- 4 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 large cloves of garlic - crushed
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste (a pinch)
- Make the cheese filling by combining the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, and parmesan cheese in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well and refrigerate until you are ready to stuff the shells.
- Make the meat sauce by browning the ground beef.
- Add the garlic and mix well.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Boil shells and drain water.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with vegetable oil
- Spread about 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Fill each shell with the cheese mixture and then turn upside down and place it into the pan.
- Continue until you use up all of the shells. You may have to overlap a few to fit them all in.
- Top with remaining meat sauce.
- Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and brown cheese under the broiler for 1-2 minutes if desired.
- Remove pan and let sit for 15-20 before serving.
You can use any sauce you want on top. Your favorite jarred sauce would work great. The meat sauce makes about 4 cups so that's how much of another sauce you would want if you choose to substitute.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 669Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 878mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 56g
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.