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Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe

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.

Easy Stuffed Shells in a white dish

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.

ingredients to make stuffed shells

How to Make the BEST Stuffed Shells Recipe

This recipe keeps things simple without sacrificing flavor. A few pro tips for your success:

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Stuffed Shells: Jumbo shells, ricotta cheese, chive and onion cream cheese, large eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, basil pesto, granulated garlic, salt, shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped Italian parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and marinara sauce.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: Medium bowl, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and chopping board, large spoon or silicone spatula, 13 x 9 inch baking dish, cheese grater and pasta pot.
  • You can use your favorite brand of marinara sauce for this recipe. Depending on the flavor, it gives you the opportunity to expand the flavor profile to suit your taste.
  • 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.
  • Store baked Stuffed Shells chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave, in an air fryer or a baking dish in a 350°F oven just until heated through.



baked stuffed shells

More Italian Inspired Recipes to Make

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:


plated Easy Stuffed Shells

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Easy Stuffed Shells recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Stand time5 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
Keyword: easy-stuffed-shells-recipe, stuffed shells
Servings: 12 (2 shells)
Calories: 329kcal


  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 8 oz container chive and onion cream cheese softened
  • 1 Tbsp prepared basil pesto
  • 2 tsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley divided
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 3/4 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 Tbsp Italian parsley, 2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 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.


Serving: 1serving (2 shells) | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 1076mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 806IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    Well this is timely! I made some meat tomato gravy last night for supper this evening. Made enough for 10 but there is just 2 of us. haha Your gravy recipe is almost identical to mine! My daughter and her family have been asking for jumbo stuffed shells. Buying the shells now and am going to surprise her with supper. Just need to top with cheese. Boy did you make me look good!

      1. Hi Mendy, thank you so much for picking it up! I’ve been asked but, haven’t given in to another book to date. Stay tuned, thanks for visiting! ☺

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