Hey everybody! It’s Liz from Love Grows Wild, and I’m back to share a fantastic new dinner idea with you today! My family loves when I make Italian dishes, but they get tired of the same old spaghetti or lasagna. Enter stuffed shells recipe! These Three Cheese Stuffed Shells are a great way to shake up your dinner routine with a meal the whole family will go crazy over!
You really can’t go wrong with a good lasagna. Rich red sauce, creamy white sauce, and lots of cheese all layered between pasta noodles… It’s heavenly! But when I feel like something EXTRA cheesy, I make these stuffed shells! They have the same basic principle as lasagna, but with a triple dose of cheese and stuffed inside a cute pasta shell. I like my food cute… and cheesy : )
And this recipe really couldn’t be any simpler to make: Boil the pasta shells until just shy of al dente (I did 9 minutes). Mix together all the yummy cheeses along with some seasoning, fresh basil for color and extra flavor, and an egg to bind it all together. Then spread your favorite red sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, stuff your shells with the cheese mixture, and add them to the dish. I usually take a shortcut and use a good pasta sauce from the grocery store, but feel free to use your favorite homemade recipe too! I have a spaghetti sauce recipe with Italian sausage that is out of this world!
Before you bake the shells, add more red sauce on top and extra cheese. You can never have enough cheese! After about 40 minutes in the oven, you will have an incredible Italian dinner that is sure to be a big hit! I like to serve these with a nice salad and garlic bread, and they make a beautiful presentation for guests too!
The best part about this recipe is you can prep them ahead of time! Stuffing the shells does take a bit of time, so I get that out of the way when I have company coming over or I need quick weeknight freezer meals. Make the recipe as directed (but don’t bake them yet) and store in the refrigerator overnight. Then take them out about a half hour before baking, and you have an easy meal ready to go! If you’re looking to prep some freezer meals, do the same thing but put them in disposable foil pans so you can easily store the shells in the freezer until you need them.
Just look at all that cheesy goodness stuffed inside! This is one recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
These Three Cheese Stuffed Shells are a great way to shake up your dinner routine with a meal the whole family will go crazy over!
Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
15 ounce container ricotta cheese
8 ounces (2 cups) grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 - 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions for al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, and basil. Spread ¾ of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish.
Spoon the cheese mixture into the pasta shells and place in the baking dish. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-10 minutes more.
I’ll see you again here in a few weeks, but until then I hope you’ll visit me at Love Grows Wild and check out my latest projects and recipes!