This easy cheese Stuffed Shells Recipe is certain to become a family favorite. You can enjoy it as a main course or a side dish with your favorite Italian inspired entrées.
Filling and Delicious Easy Stuffed Shells
These stuffed shells are sans meat by design. While we're carnivores at our house and love including meat in most every meal in some form, there are times we're okay switching things up. These stuffed shells fit the bill without sacrificing the rich feel of classic Italian food. They're satisfying without making you feel like something is missing.
Helpful Tips for Making Stuffed Shells
This recipe keeps things simple without sacrificing flavor. A few pro tips for your success:
- These shells can be fully assembled one day in advance, covered in plastic wrap and chilled until you're ready to bake them.
- When assembling in advance, give them 15 minutes or so on the counter to come to room temperature before baking.
- For the best end result, make certain the shells are cooked just to al dente to start with, so they'll maintain their texture after baking.
- This recipe is designed for quick prep and utilizes a good jarred marinara sauce. It's imperative that you choose a good quality sauce and one that you enjoy. Don't skimp on flavor.
- I highly recommend having available additional warmed marinara sauce on the side for those who may like to drizzle their shells with a little more.
Other Italian Inspired Recipes to Try
When it comes to the flavors you find in many Italian dishes, I find that they only become more robust the longer they have stand or chill time to marry. This makes them ideal for make ahead preparation, having dinner ready to go when you're ready to eat. A few other recipes you may like to try:
- Italian Sausage Stromboli
- Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Shells
- Braised Italian Pot Roast
- Beef and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Creamy Garlic Shells from Iowa Girl Eats
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 8 oz container chive and onion cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto
- 2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley divided
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 4 cups good quality marinara sauce i.e. Bertolli Four Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a deep 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook pasta shells in salted water for half the time recommended on the box. Drain well.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip together ricotta, cream cheese, pesto, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper flakes and eggs just until fully combined. Mix 2 tablespoon Italian parsley, 2 cups mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan cheese by hand until evenly distributed.
- To assemble: Pour 2 cups marinara sauce in bottom of dish. Divide filling among shells and arrange side by side in dish seam side up. Drizzle tops with remaining marinara sauce then sprinkle with mozzarella and reserved Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is lightly golden.
- Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley.