The ultimate cheesy stuffed pasta shells recipe!! This incredible pasta recipe is so hearty, cheesy and warming! The pasta shells are stuffed with a combination of three cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan), onions, garlic and spinach. For the sauce, I’m using my Homemade Bolognese Sauce – this pasta sauce recipe is the best! The creamy and cheesy filling is perfectly complement by the hearty beef sauce! This pasta recipe is the best comfort food!
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The Best Bolognese Sauce
I love to make this cheesy stuff pasta shells recipe with my Homemade Bolognese Sauce! This hearty, beefy and warming sauce is perfect for so many pasta recipes, especially this one! The sauce is made with ground beef and pork, tomato sauce, red wine and lots of Italian spices. I love to slow cook it for 2 hours until it’s reduced and aromatic! Make sure to watch my video recipe for this sauce to see how it’s made!
Don’t have the time to make a homemade sauce? Don’t worry! A store-bought sauce will also work in a pinch! Just brown 1 pound of ground beef, sauté 1 large diced onion and combine everything together with a jar of store-bought sauce. Cook for 15 minutes, then use in this recipe!
3 Cheese Filling!
These cheesy stuffed pasta shells have a serious amount of cheese in them! It’s the best cheesy filling ever!! I make these pasta shells with three different types of cheese: whole-milk ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan! This combination of cheeses makes the filling so incredibly creamy and cheesy!
I combine the cheeses with softened onion, garlic and wilted spinach. To prepare this mixture, sauté the onion in salted butter, then add the garlic and spinach. The spinach will wilt down super fast! Combine this cooked mixture with the cheese, egg yolks and seasonings. The filling is super easy to make!
Cooking the Pasta Shells
As you’re working on the filling, you can also get the pasta cooked and ready to go! I like to prepare 1 ½ to 2, 12-ounce boxes of pasta shells, just to make sure I have enough whole shells to fill. Most boxes will have a few that are broken and unusable for this recipe.
Cook the pasta to al dente in a large pot of salted water. Once the pasta is done cooking, I drain it and then pour cold water into the pot. I also like to add a drizzle of oil to the pot. This way, the pasta shells won’t stick together and it will be easier to stuff them!
Preparing the Stuffed Pasta Shells
You’ll love how easy it is to make these stuffed pasta shells! First, I prepare 1 extra large or 2 medium casserole trays and spread a generous amount of the prepared Bolognese sauce onto the bottom. Now it’s time to stuff the pasta shells! Using a spoon, I fill each pasta shell generously with the cheese and spinach filling. Don’t be shy with the filling!
Place the filled pasta shells on top of the Bolognese sauce and fill up the casserole! You want to pack them snuggly together in the pan. Next, sprinkle on more cheese over the top and then the shells are ready for the oven! Bake at 350F for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted. I also like to turn on the broiler for 5 minutes, to caramelize the cheese on top!
Serving the Stuffed Pasta Shells
And now for the best part – time to enjoy this pasta dish! I recommend allowing the shells to cool for at least 15 minutes before enjoying. They will be extremely hot out of the oven!! Sprinkle on more parmesan cheese, if desired, and garnish with fresh basil. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, which can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
This cheesy stuffed pasta shells recipe will make about 32 to 36 pasta shells. You can prepare 2 medium casseroles pans when making this recipe – one of now and one for later! These stuffed shells will freeze beautifully! Just assemble the dish into a freezer-friendly container or a disposable aluminum casserole pan. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, bake at 350F for 45 minutes if thawed or 1 hour and 15 minutes if frozen, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. To thaw the pasta ahead of time, place the casserole into the refrigerator overnight.
Enjoyed this hearty and delicious pasta recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Meat & Cheese Lasagna – the best ever lasagna recipe with homemade sauce, bechamel sauce and loads of cheese! My favorite recipe!
- Skillet Lasagna – enjoy all the best flavors of lasagna with this easy, cheat version of the recipe!
- Cheesy Lasagna Roll Ups – EASY lasagna roll ups filled with a chorizo Bolognese sauce and loads of melty cheese!
- Smoky Pepper & Sausage Pasta – this easy pasta skillet is made with roasted peppers, smoky sausage and a creamy sauce!
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