Stuffed Pasta Shells

Stuffed Pasta Shells

These stuffed pasta shells are a yummy favorite. Both the marinara sauce and the filling can be made ahead to speed up meal preparation. Leftovers keep nicely in the refrigerator and longer in the freezer.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Cooking Method: Bake
Tag: Pasta
Category: Main Dishes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 555kcal



  • 5 qt water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lime juice from
  • 6 oz jumbo pasta shells 1/2 box Barilla jumbo shells, about 22


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 9 oz ricotta cheese
  • 6 1/2 oz mozzarella cheese grated, divided 5 and 1 1/2
  • 1 1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or parmesan, divided 1 and 1/2
  • 2 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 oz sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 cups Easy Peasy No-Cook Marinara Sauce must be thin, divided in half
  • 1 5.5-oz can Tomato juice like V8, to thin marinara sauce, if necessary


  • Unless the marinara sauce was made in advance, start by making the marinara sauce to allow enough time for the dry herbs to hydrate and spread their flavor.
  • To prepare the pasta, add 5 quarts of water, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 bay leaves and juice of one lime to a 12 quart stock pot and bring to a boil.
  • When the water is boiling add jumbo pasta shells and cook for 9 minutes.
  • When shells are done drain in a colander and turn open side down on a baking sheet to dry. Be sure to reserving one cup of pasta liquid in case the marinara sauce needs to be thinned.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until just before the oil begins smoking. Add the garlic and sauté until slightly brown, about 1 minute.
  • Add ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil mixture, salt, and pepper to a 2 quart mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. The mixture will be a bit thicker than cottage cheese.

Marinara Sauce

  • Cover bottom of 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish with half of the marinara sauce.
  • Using a tablespoon stuff each shell with 1 to 1/2 tablespoons of filling, angling the stuffed shells in a 3 by 7 pattern. Squeeze the extra pasta shell where it best fits.
  • Spoon the remaining marinara sauce between the shells as much as possible. Sprinkle with mozzarella set aside earlier and bake for 30 minutes.


  • Garnish with Parmigiana-Reggiano set aside earlier and parsley sprigs, and serve.


Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 2706mg | Potassium: 1123mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 29.6% | Vitamin C: 25.7% | Calcium: 57.6% | Iron: 21%
Nutrition Facts
Stuffed Pasta Shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 555 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 2706mg 113%
Potassium 1123mg 32%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 12g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 29.6%
Vitamin C 25.7%
Calcium 57.6%
Iron 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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