Easy stuffed shells, a classic Italian dish, features a bubbly delicious giant pasta shell stuffed with ooey gooey cheese.
This family-friendly dish provides a generous helping of pasta and needs very little prep time to get into the oven and onto the table.
Why you will love making Ricotta Stuffed Shells.
These three cheese-stuffed shells with ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan are such hearty and comforting weeknight dinner meal.
Incredibly simple to pull together, giant stuffed shells are the perfect easy last-minute dinner recipe.
Whether you take the easy road (like I do) with jarred marinara sauce or make it homemade, this Italian dinner recipe is even better than the shells recipe you get at Olive Garden (and it cost way less to make).
Plus, easy stuffed shells make perfect lunch leftovers and warm up the next day deliciously for busy weeknights.
- jumbo giant pasta shells
- cheeses needed – ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese (or Italian Cheese blend) , and grated Parmesan cheese
- seasonings – Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- Favorite Marinara sauce (tomato sauce)
Optional seasonings also go great in this pasta dish – fresh garlic, pepper flakes, or garlic powder.
How to make Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells.
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half a jar of pasta sauce into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
- Cook jumbo pasta shells according to package instructions, drain water and rinse shells with cool water.
- Mix ricotta cheese, 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix cheese filling well.
- Place the cheese mixture into a large piping bag and cut a 1/2″ hole in the tip.
- Pipe creamy filling into each jumbo shell and place into the pan on top of the layer of marina sauce in a single line.
- As a note, shells can touch. Once all pasta shells are filled with ricotta mixture, spoon the remaining sauce over shells and top with the remaining extra cheese.
- Cover stuffed pasta shells tightly with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot, topped with fresh parsley if desired.
Beware the broken shells!
Prepare for some shells to break and boil extra shells. You will get about 28 shells out of the filling, so cook 32 shells in case any rip or are broken.
Not that the giant stuffed shells won’t be delicious, but it’s easier to stuff a whole shell.
Stuffed Shells Variations
While this is a cheesy goodness option (and who doesn’t like all types of cheese), many people enjoy adding fresh spinach, diced onions, fresh basil, or a little cooked ground beef or Italian sausage.
This dish is a great vegetarian dinner, but if meat is more your thing, spoon hearty meat sauce over the shells.
Cheesy stuffed shells are one of the perfect recipes to get creative in the kitchen without too much worry about it going wrong. Stuff, cook, and enjoy!
Try this cheesy pasta dish with alfredo sauce instead of marinara.
Side dishes for Stuffed Shells
Serve with a little side salad or some oven-baked broccoli.
Need another last-minute dinner idea?
We have all had moments where we struggled to find a creative, easy, and last-minute dinner plan. I have some great dinner recipes that will fit the bill.
Wendy’s copycat chili recipe is perfect while it’s still winter outside. Let slow cook and simmer, or simply warm and serve!