How to Easily Prepare Delectable Italian Stuffed Shells

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Christina Flores

· 3 min read

Healthy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 6-8


  • 1 package (12 oz) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Steps to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, beaten egg, and chopped fresh parsley. Mix well.
  7. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with the ricotta cheese mixture, using about 2-3 tablespoons per shell.
  8. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  9. Arrange the stuffed shells in the baking dish, open side up.
  10. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the top of the stuffed shells.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  13. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note:

  • You can make the meat sauce and stuff the shells ahead of time, then bake just before serving.
  • For a spicier version, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meat sauce.
  • Serve the stuffed shells with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete Italian-inspired meal.
  • Leftover stuffed shells can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

This healthy stuffed pasta shells recipe is a delicious and satisfying Italian-inspired dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends. The combination of ground beef, ricotta cheese, and a flavorful tomato sauce creates a comforting and satisfying meal.

The key to this recipe is the balance of flavors and the use of healthy ingredients. The ground beef provides a good source of protein, while the ricotta cheese and Parmesan add creaminess and richness. The tomato sauce and herbs add a burst of flavor, and the addition of fresh parsley and mozzarella cheese on top adds a touch of freshness and melty goodness.

One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time. You can prepare the meat sauce and stuff the shells in advance, then simply bake them when you’re ready to serve. This makes it a great option for busy weeknights or when you’re entertaining guests.

If you’re looking to add a bit of spice to the dish, you can try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meat sauce. This will give the dish a nice kick of heat without overwhelming the other flavors.

Serve the stuffed shells with a fresh green salad and some garlic bread for a complete Italian-inspired meal. The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it a great option for meal prep or leftovers.

Overall, this healthy stuffed pasta shells recipe is a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to please the whole family. With its balance of flavors and use of wholesome ingredients, it’s a great addition to your recipe repertoire.

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About Christina Flores

Hi, I am Christina Flores, author of I'm passionate about creating delicious and nutritious recipes to help people lead healthier lives. Join me on this culinary journey as we explore the world of healthy eating together!