These Stuffed Pasta Shells are filled to the brim with ground beef, cheese, and herbs and then doused in a gorgeous tomato sauce and baked to perfection. The perfect meal for any night of the week.
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What is in Stuffed Pasta Shells?
These are very simple ingredients, and nothing much is going to break the bank for this meal either. Stuffed pasta shells are one of my simple pleasures. This recipe is not doused in cheese either, but the tomato sauce is not only flavorful but comforting too. Grab a salad for the side and some fresh bread for dunking, and you have a very memorable meal.
Jumbo pasta shells
Tomato sauce (pasta sauce)
How to Make Stuffed Pasta Shells
This dinner is quick to pull together and can be made to the point of baking ahead of time. Some recipes use a ricotta mixture /ricotta filling, but this stuffed shell recipe is a beef lover’s dream, using ground beef with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese instead. Hearty, filling, and wonderful. You could substitute in some Italian sausage or ground turkey for some variations too.
The shells are much faster to bake than lasagna, with only 30 minutes to the baking time, so it is doable for a weeknight meal too.
Combine the water and salt in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and add the jumbo shells. Boil for 8 min. or until al dente. Drain the shells with a colander and run them under cold water for 2 min. Set aside.
Peel the onion with a paring knife and chop it with a kitchen knife. Peel and mince the garlic. Combine the beef, onion, and garlic in a frying pan.
Saute over medium until the ground beef is browned and the onions are tender. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon.
Drain the grease from the beef and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grate the Parmesan and cut the mozzarella into very small cubes, or you can also grate. Wash and pat dry the parsley with a paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife.
Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and parsley to the beef mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Stuffing the Shells
One at a time, using a spoon, stuff the jumbo shells with the meatball mixture. As each jumbo shell is stuffed, place it in a 9″ square baking pan. This recipe will make an additional 9″ pan, or you can use one very large pan to put 24 shells in. Top the shells with the pasta sauce. If you would like to make this ahead of time, cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove the foil and bake as below.
The recipe calls for 5 cups of sauce, but you can use more if you like them really saucy and have sauce for dipping bread into also. Because there is lots of cheese in the filling and little mozzarella bombs of ooey gooeyness, you don’t have to put cheese on top.
Bake the stuffed shells for 30 min. or until bubbly. Remove the pasta from the oven and let cool slightly.
Wash the parsley and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife. Divide the cooked stuffed shells between plates. Top each serving with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
For any leftovers, cover the dish well with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
These shells also freeze well either individually on a greased baking sheet and then stored in a freezer bag or frozen as an entire dish with the sauce. Perfect to give someone who is in need of a meal. Bake from frozen, adding 20-30 minutes to the bake time.
What do you Eat with Stuffed Pasta Shells?
That looks so good, doesn’t it!! Now what to have on the side with these pasta shells? I, for one, want a salad and maybe some bread!! Here are a few suggestions for you.
Everyday Garden Salad – A delicious salad for any day of the week.
Easy Caprese Salad Recipe – This salad takes minutes to pull together.
Classic Caesar Salad Recipe – What goes better with Italian pasta than Caesar salad???
Air Fryer Easy Garlic Bread – Ooey-gooey cheesy garlic bread will make this meal even more memorable.
Cheesy Bread – This will feed a crowd, and it is one of our favorite indulgences.
What is a QOOQ Tablet?
*This post and review were originally done in 2013, and this product may have changed. The post and photos have been updated from the original.
Ken selected this dish from our QOOQ tablet that we have on the counter. There seems like an endless stream of gorgeous pictures displayed on it.
I am always thinking, oh, I have to try that one, or that looks so delicious. I love having the pretty red tablet on our countertop and ready for me to pick up and glance through at any time.
The recipes are easy to follow, but sometimes they omit an ingredient quantity I have discovered. Most of the time it is pretty easy to figure out. The tablet can do whatever you like it to do, check on Facebook, the weather, play songs, you know, the list is endless.
Plus, it is downloaded with tons of recipes and videos with chef tips and techniques to help you with loads of recipes. There are explanations of ingredients with background information. You can create meal plans, shopping lists, etc.
The list of what you can do with tablets is endless. You can also purchase additional recipes and continue to fill your tablet with your favorites.
As I said, Ken chose this recipe, and it is perfect to go with our 5 days of cheesy pasta. The ingredients are simple, and this made a very flavorful entree.
Maybe we didn’t stuff the shells as much as they did, but I found that the recipe made two 9×9″ pans of stuffed shells. Just make extra shells if you like to make more.
Lucky me, I have one in the freezer. I love that!! Enjoy!!
MORE DELICIOUS “STUFFED” RECIPES
Stuffed recipes just have extra flavor in my mind. See some of our favorites.
- 10 cups of water
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 24 Jumbo pasta shells
- 1 medium onion
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 oz. Parmesan
- 8 oz. mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 5 cups tomato sauce (pasta sauce)
- 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- Combine the water and salt in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and add the jumbo shells. Boil for 8 min. or until tender. Drain the shells with a colander and run them under cold water for 2 min. Set aside.
- Peel the onion with a paring knife and chop it with a kitchen knife. Peel and mince the garlic. Combine the beef, onion, and garlic in a frying pan.
- Saute over medium until the ground beef is browned and the onions are tender. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon.
- Drain the grease from the beef and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grate the Parmesan and cut the mozzarella into very small cubes, or you can also shred it, whichever you prefer. Wash and pat dry the parsley with a paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife.
- Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and parsley to the beef mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- One at a time, using a spoon, stuff the jumbo shells well with the meatball mixture. As each jumbo shell is stuffed, place it in a 9" square baking pan. Then repeat for another 9" pan or use one very large pan. Top the shells with the pasta sauce. You want them to be nice and saucy and well-covered.
- Bake the stuffed shells for 30 min. or until bubbly. Remove the pasta from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Wash the parsley and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife. Divide the cooked stuffed shells between plates. Top each serving with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
See the post for tips and tricks.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 327Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1637mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 23g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.