Stuffed shells on plate

Stuffed Shells

Easy, cheesy Stuffed Shells that can be assembled and in the oven in a matter of minutes. This stuffed shell recipe is made with the option to use my homemade marinara or jarred sauce (if you're in a hurry!). Less than 20 minutes of prep-time! 
Be sure to check out the how-to video below the recipe!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword easy stuffed shells, stuffed shells recipe, vegetarian stuffed shells
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 stuffed shells
Calories 185kcal
Author Sam Merritt


For Filling:

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (425g)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided (226g)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus additional for topping, if desired (60g)
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened (113g)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano optional
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove pressed


  • Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
  • Prepare Shells according to package instructions, but boiling one minute less than instructed on package. Drain, allow to cool several minutes, then separate and place on a baking sheet while you prepare your filling. While the shells are boiling, I’ll usually start preparing my pan and making my filling:
  • Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer with several spoonfuls of marinara sauce (just enough to lightly coat the bottom).
  • Prepare filling by stirring together ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese (170g), ⅓ cup parmesan, cream cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt, and ground pepper until well-combined.
  • Portion into prepared shells by heaping spoonful.
  • Evenly spoon remaining marinara sauce over stuffed shells. Top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese (56g) and a sprinkle of grated parmesan (if desired).
  • Lightly spray one side of a piece of foil with cooking spray and loosely place foil (spray side down) over stuffed shells. Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 20 minutes, covered, then remove foil and continue to bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!



Check out my Garlic Knots -- they're a great side for stuffed shells, or any pasta recipe! 
¹You will only need 20 shells for this recipe, but I usually boil a few extra in case some tear
²You can use store-bought marinara sauce or you can use my homemade marinara sauce recipe (better option!!). My recipe makes 3 cups, so you will use all of it for these Stuffed Shells.
See post for instructions on freezing/making ahead


Serving: 1stuffed shell | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1300IU | Vitamin C: 13.2mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 1.3mg