Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells

"These are just fantastic! This is one of DH's favorite things I make. Great for family dinner or pot luck. This is really pretty easy to make and true Italian comfort food!"
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Serissa photo by Serissa
photo by Michelle W. photo by Michelle W.
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by P.Q. Butterfat photo by P.Q. Butterfat
Ready In:




  • In an 8 quart pot, bring water to a boil and cook shells for 8 minutes or until al dente.
  • Drain and cool immediately with cold water.
  • Drain and place open side down on paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the rest of ingredients except the spaghetti sauce.
  • Reserve the 1/4 cup of Mozzarella.
  • Place a thin layer of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 12 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture into each pasta shell and place open side up, in a single layer, in prepared pan.
  • Pour the rest of sauce over the stuffed shells.
  • Loosely cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • During last 5 minutes of baking, remove foil and sprinkle remaining Mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Bake 5 more minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped basil.

Questions & Replies

  1. This was good! Did anyone use more than the 8 oz of sauce listed in recipe? I was surprised to read only a small amount of sauce for 12 oz jumbo shells. Prepared stuff shell recipe using 26 oz jar of sauce and baked 1 hr then additional 10 minutes. If prefer saucy, adding more would have been fine. I have a 15x10 pyrex dish and this fit all the shells. I didn't have fresh basil. I think would added good flavor.
  2. can I layer the stuffed shells? If it's filled to the top of baking dish, will it expand?
  3. Has anyone froze this recipe? Looking to cook ahead of time for trip. If so did you change anything? Thaw before cooking? Cook frozen? Thank you.


  1. This recipe is nearly the same as what we have used for the last 25 years in our restaurant. The minor differences are we use 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, we add a pinch of nutmeg and we use our own meat based sauce...other than that this is identical. Since it is one of the dishes that is most popular, we make this in 20 lb batches of filling. We also do this same recipe with spinach and with spinach and sausage. We use browned hot Italian sausage and squeezed cooked spinach and add a little of each to the filling but the original Cheese only is still the most popular.
  2. I think this recipe is AWESOME, with just a couple minor modifications (which is why I gave a 4 instead of 5). 1--I used 10 oz of shredded mozz cheese rather than measuring in cups, which seems arbitrary to me. This amount was perfect. 2--4 large eggs was way too much. My husband said it was almost like eating scrambled eggs & I agree. Next time I will use 2 large eggs. 3--8 oz spaghetti sauce was way too little. I used 26 oz of chunky homemade sauce and it was perfect. 4--salt & pepper is a must in every recipe. I used 1 tsp salt. Maybe not needed if using jarred sauce, but the cheese filling is not salted otherwise. 1 tsp of pepper seems excessive; I used maybe 1/2 tsp of fresh ground. I really liked that the amount of cheese mixture filled the shells perfectly, and the filled shells filled the pan perfectly. And the taste was spectacular!
  3. This was really yummy. I added fresh cooked and chopped spinach to mine, but otherwise cooked it as stated in the recipe. I used a large ziploc bag with the corner cut off to squeeze the filling into each shell. This presented beautifully and was hard to stop eating them. They are even very good as leftovers. Thanks for sharing!!
  4. Delicious recipe. My very picky step-son really likes this recipe. When we were out to eat one night he got stuffed shells and he said "Yours are better." Whoohoo! Thanks for posting.
  5. These were simply amazing, and this is coming from a person who doesn't like ricotta cheese! I only slightly modifed the recipe (2 eggs, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic, 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 2 bottles spaghetti sauce). The results could not have been better. This recipe is a keeper and I can't wait to make them again!


  1. I added a cup of chopped spinach, 2 tbsps of chopped parsley and a tsp of grated nutmeg.
  2. I used about five times the spaghetti sauce and I used a Ziploc bag to stuff the shells.
  3. So loved the recipe. Added 4 cups fresh spinach and 1/3 cup onion, Sautéed. Mixed in with the cheese after the mix cooled, then stuffed the shells. A hit with a very fussy man :)
  4. I used basil in the cheese mixture, because that's what I had on hand. I also used lactose free cottage cheese instead of ricotta to make it tummy friendly for me.
  5. A great recipe! BF agreed that this deserved 5 stars, even with the low-fat adjustments I made (part skim mozzarella and low fat ricotta). Instead of the dried parsley I used Italian seasonings and omitted the fresh basil. I thought the stuffing to pasta ratio was perfect (BTW I halved the recipe). The only thing that made me a bit nervous was whether there was sufficient cooking time to set the eggs. I hate undercooked eggs. I cooked it a little longer for that reason. It seemed to come out okay. It was definitely Italian comfort food:D


I am happily married to my best friend and we just bought our first house! No kids but we have 2 little dogs that we think the world of. I was born in California and although I have been on the East Coast for most of my life I am still displaced! I love the beach and hate the cold! In our free time we love to go to the beach or the mountains and hike or intertube down the lazy Shenendoah River. It is so beautiful there! I have loved to cook all of my life and will read cookbooks like they are novels! Participation & Awards: These are some of the fun games and clubs here at Zaar. <img src="" alt="Image hosted by"> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket">
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