How to Easily Make Delicious Stuffed Shells with Meat and Ricotta

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Christina Flores

· 2 min read

Stuffed Shells with Meat and Ricotta

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Additional Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 6-8


  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce

Steps to Cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or Italian sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Drain any excess fat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked meat mixture, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the egg, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well until fully incorporated.
  5. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  6. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with the meat and ricotta mixture, placing them in the prepared baking dish as you go.
  7. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the top of the stuffed shells, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Let the stuffed shells rest for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional chopped parsley, if desired.

Cook’s Note:

  • For a creamier filling, you can add a few tablespoons of heavy cream or milk to the ricotta mixture.
  • Customize the filling by adding sautéed spinach, mushrooms, or other vegetables.
  • Leftover stuffed shells can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat frozen stuffed shells, bake at 375°F for 45-60 minutes, or until heated through.

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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!