How to Easily Prepare Delicious Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

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Christina Flores

· 2 min read

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1 box (12 oz) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 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 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

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 the package instructions until al dente, about 9-11 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high 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, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, and 1/4 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture.
  8. Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  9. Arrange the stuffed shells in a single layer on top of the sauce.
  10. Pour the remaining meat sauce over the stuffed shells, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 3/4 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  12. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note:

  • For a creamier filling, you can add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the ricotta mixture.
  • If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the meat sauce.
  • To make this dish ahead of time, you can assemble the stuffed shells and sauce, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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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!