Stuffed Shells Recipe


Well, unfortunately we won't be able to go to Outer Banks this year, but if we were, I would have made this recipe to take with us and throw it in the oven the night we got there. When I want to add meat I usually do a combo of ground beef and Italian sausage, about 3/4 lb. each. I have also been known to throw in whatever veggies I have on hand—mushrooms, green peppers, etc.

Stuffed Shells (Meatless)

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

2 dozen large pasta shells (cook a few extra in case some rip or you have a little extra filling)
2 teaspoons salt
24 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (I buy the Italian seasoned kind)
1 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

  1. Cook shells, following package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water, set aside to allow them to almost completely dry. 
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley, and egg; mix until well blended. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion and sauté until golden in color. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and basil; mix well and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reserve 1 cup of sauce. Pour remaining sauce into a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. 
  5. Carefully spoon cheese mixture into shells; arrange shells, opening side up, in tomato sauce in the pan. 
  6. Pour reserved sauce over shells. 
  7. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. 
  8. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Return stuffed shells to oven and bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Note: If you are going to freeze, keep the stuffed shells separate from the sauce. Or I have also made these shells and used store-bought red or white sauce for topping.

Rattray, Diana."Stuffed Shells." Recipe. 2010. The New York Times Company. June 9, 2010 <>.

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