I could seriously eat all the shells. Cheesy Italian Stuffed Shells is one of my FAVORITE Italian dishes to make…and eat. A cheesy filling of ricotta and parmesan is stuffed into adorable pasta shells then topped with homemade sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly and dinner is served!
I can’t explain why. I just can’t.
However, I made this a few weeks back and then my mother-in-law made them for Sunday dinner so I had them twice in a week!
What’s there not to love about this beautiful dish? It’s the perfect weeknight comfort meal, the best leftovers and it can totally be frozen for another cozy dinner. It’s all homemade too, I must add.
Beside the cheese, the sauce is my favorite part. It’s so simple and authentic tasting. If you can find the 6 in 1 tomatoes, use those! They are the best tomatoes to make any sort of Italian tomato sauce. If you can’t find them you can still make this dish.
Don’t you worry. These are definitely back on the weekly dinner menu!
Don’t forget to pin this recipe on Pinterest by clicking the image below!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic (2 teaspoons), minced
- 2, 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I used 6 in 1 tomatoes)
- 2 large leaves of fresh basil, minced
- handful of parsley, minced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 16 ounce carton ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 2 fresh basil leaves, minced
- 1 box shells
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large pot and place over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and saute for one more minute. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, basil and parsley. Stir and simmer on low while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- While sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drizzle a little olive oil in the water and add shells. Cook shells for about 7 minutes. Drain and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to prevent them from sticking.
- While the pasta shells cool, prepare the cheese filling by adding all the ingredients into a bowl; set aside.
- By now, the pasta sauce should be ready. Taste for seasoning then ladle a layer of sauce into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Next stuff pasta shells with the cheese mixture. You can use a spoon which can be messy or you can simply add the cheese mixture to a large zip bag, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe it into the shells. Note that you will not use all of the shells. As you fill the shells, place them in the baking dish. Once you have finished, top the shells with more sauce (you will have leftover sauce) then top with mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.