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Scooping a serving of cheesy stuffed shells. on a bed of marinara sauce

Stuffed Shells Recipe

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Casserole, Comfort Food
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Marilyn
These delicious stuffed shells are loaded with cheese, herbs, and spices. They rest on a comforting bed of marinara sauce and are blanketed with more cheese. Baked to golden perfection your family and friends will love this recipe.
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  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook shells, stirring occasionally, for ¾ of the time listed on the package for al dente. Drain shells, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.
  • In a 4 quart casserole dish, spread 2 cups marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish.
  • In a large bowl, gently whisk eggs and egg yolks. Stir in ricotta, shredded mozzarella, ¾ cup Parmesan, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large resealable plastic bag. Cut off a tip of one quarter, enough to make a ¾ inch diameter hole.
  • Squeeze filling, evenly divided, into shells and arrange them filling side up on top of the marinara sauce. Drizzle remaining marinara sauce around the shells. Top with mozzarella slices. Cover dish with foil and bake, 35 minute or until shells are almost al dente and the sauce is slightly bubbling. Remove foil and cook 7 to 10 more minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano. Serve with remaining grated parmesan on the side.


Cook the box of shells even if there are more than you think you will need as some shells may break or tear.
Stuffed shells can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350­° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Frozen pasta should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave.
For the mozzarella cheese, you can buy an 8 ounce block of mozzarella. Using a box grater, shred 1-½ cups and slice the remainder into small pieces (see picture) for the top of the shells.
  • Without Ricotta: Replace the ricotta cheese with an equal amount of small curd cottage cheese.
  • With Meat: Add 1-lb 80/20 ground beef and cook until beef is crumbled and no longer pink. (I use a wire potato masher to break up my beef.) Drain beef. Reduce marinara sauce to 2-½ cups. Stir beef into 1-½ cups marinara sauce and spread over the bottom of the dish. Continue with step 4.
  • With Spinach: Reduce the shredded mozzarella to 1 cup and the Parmesan cheese to ¾ cup. Add 5 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dried of liquids to the cheese mixture. Check to see if you need to cut the opening larger on the resealable bag because the mixture will be thicker. Alternatively you can use a spoon to fill the shells.
  • With Sausage: Add ½ lb ground Italian pork sausage and cook until pork is crumbled and no long pink. Stir pork into 2 cups marinara sauce. Continue with step 3.


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 927mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1206IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 489mg | Iron: 2mg