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simple stuffed shells

Simple Stuffed Shells

  • Author: María
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes


Jumbo shells stuffed with three cheeses, covered in sauce and more cheese. 



  • 34 C marinara sauce 
  • 12 oz jumbo shells
  • 32 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C parmesan, freshly grated
  • 1/2 C aged asiago, freshy grated
  • 1 lb low-moisture mozzarella, grated or thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning


  1. Start by cooking your shells in a stock pot until they’re al dente, according to the package directions. If the package doesn’t tell you to salt your water you should still salt the water. Always. 
  2. While the pasta is boiling, mix together all of the seasonings and cheeses except the mozzarella. Stir to combine very well, then stir in the parsley. Set it aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400ºF and lightly oil a large glass baking dish. Spoon about 2/3 a cup of sauce into the dish and spread it around so lightly covers the bottom. Use more if needed. 
  4. When your pasta shells are done, drain them and set up a lil’ assembly station on your counter with the bowl of shells, the bowl of ricotta mixture and the baking dish. Set the sauce and the mozzarella somewhere close by. 
  5. Stuff your shells! I use my hands and a spoon, holding the shell open in my hands and using the tip of the spoon to force it in. Some folks use a piping bag – or a ziploc bag when the end cut off – to squeeze it in. Overfill them just a little so that the shells stay open and the filling is visible. Place them side by side, squeezing them in together (not too tight) so they remain stable and upright. Continue until something runs out, or the pan is full.
  6. Spoon the remaining sauce over the tops of all the shells. Once that’s finished, cover everything with the mozzarella, evenly and completely. 
  7. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is just beginning to brown. 
  8. Remove and let rest for a few minutes before you dive in. If you have any fresh basil, chiffon a small bunch, and sprinkle it over the top of the shells for an extra hint of delicious. Enjoy! 
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