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+ servings

Stuffed Shells

A twist on classic lasagna recipe - jumbo shells stuffed with a cheese mixture and baked with the best homemade meat sauce.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 - 12 oz. package Jumbo pasta shells

For the meat sauce

  • 1 lb. ground beef, 80 - 85% lean
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. dry red wine

For the cheese mixture

  • 1 and ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, *plus more for topping
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp. pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Cook the shells in boiling salted water for 9 minutes, they should be slightly undercooked. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. You will only need about 25 or so shells, but cook extra in case some of them break.

Make the meat sauce:

  • While the shells cook, start preparing the meat sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the chopped onions and ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Break up the beef and cook until no longer pink.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and dry red wine. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then reduce to a simmer over low heat.

Make the cheese mixture:

  • In a medium bowl stir together ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, and pepper.

Assemble the pasta:

  • Spray a 9 x 13" casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread half of the meat sauce evenly in the bottom of the dish.
  • Arrange the shells in an even layer on top of the meat sauce.
  • To stuff the shells with the cheese mixture you can either use a spoon to gently fill each shell or - add the cheese mixture into a large plastic bag and cut a small opening to pipe the filling in that way.
  • Spread the rest of the meat sauce over the tops of the shells.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the top with more shredded mozzarella. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Top with chopped fresh basil if desired and serve warm.


Keep leftovers covered in the fridge or in tupperware for up to 1 week. 
To reheat a small portion: microwave for 2-3 minutes.
To reheat the entire casserole dish: cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. 


Calories: 350kcal
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