Beef Stuffed Shells are perfect for a Sunday dinner, but easy enough for a weeknights too! These stuffed shells are total comfort food!
We LOVE pasta recipes! Also try our Classic Beef Lasagna that comes out perfectly every time, or this Creamy Tuscan Scallops with Spaghetti for a pasta dinner to impress! Don’t forget the Garlic Bread on the side…
Comforting pasta recipes like these Beef Stuffed Shells are always on our dinner menu! This recipe makes a ton so there will be plenty for another dinner!
The Perfect Stuffed Shells Recipe
Stuffed shells are a pretty versatile recipe. You can fill them with so many different combinations like a Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shell or a stuffed shell with a Ravioli Filling. There’s also plain old cheese stuffed shells if that’s your thing…
The point is that all you need to do is make a filling, pick your protein (or not) cheese and a vegetable (or not) and stuff it into jumbo pasta shells. Cover with your cheese of choice and your sauce of choice and bake.
Most of the time we end up using our favorite jarred sauce but you can also make your own marinara sauce and use that too. This pasta recipe has the perfect amount of meat and cheese and just the right amount of sauce for us!
Make These Stuffed Shells Ahead Of Time!
Stuffed shells are a perfect make ahead recipe! That makes dinner easier and parties easier, too. You can make these stuffed shells completely ahead of time, baked through, and then reheat them when you’re ready.
Or another option for making this recipe ahead of time is to stuff the shells and then refrigerate until you’re ready for dinner. Take the shells out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then bake and serve!
If spinach isn’t your thing, you can definitely leave it out of this recipe. A good substitution would be chopped broccoli, but you can just leave it our altogether and just use the beef and cheese.
We like to try and sneak in some more vegetables when we can but you certainly don’t have to.
And if beef isn’t your thing you can swap the beef out for ground pork or turkey, too. OR if you’re looking to keep it vegetarian, leave out the beef and throw in some more chopped broccoli or spinach! You’ve got a few options here…
Another great swap out for this pasta recipe is a jar of Alfredo sauce instead of marinara sauce. Or your favorite homemade sauce recipe – but a cheesy, creamy sauce with these stuffed shells – that would be crazy good.
Now I think we can all agree that it’s all about the melted mozzarella cheese on top. Once these shells are baked and they get slightly crispy on the edges…it’s pasta perfection.
Now on that note, if you are one of those people who prefer their pasta soft and not crispy on the edges, just leave the aluminum foil on the whole time, the cheese will still melt. Or you can take it off during the last few minutes of baking just to let the cheese get bubbly.
Looking For More Pasta Recipes?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, squeezed out of any excess water
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- 1/3 plus 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
- 2 1/2-3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef to the onions, breaking up with a spoon to brown through. If there is a lot of grease after the beef cooks you can drain it and add it back to the skillet.
Add the spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to the beef. Stir to combine then remove from the heat.
Add the ricotta cheese, egg, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese to a large bowl. Pour in the beef and spinach filling and mix together.
Add 2 cups of the sauce to the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.
Stuff the shells generously with the filling and place in the baking dish.
Repeat with the remaining shells, cover with mozzarella cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.
Spray a piece of foil large enough to cover the baking dish with cooking spray, then cover the baking dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and return the shells to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Serve with warmed extra sauce if desired.
Serving Size:4 shells
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 113mg Sodium: 1797mg Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 14g Protein: 35g