Stuffed Shells are a popular and comforting dish that makes a great lunch or dinner and a perfect dish for whenever you have guests around. The large shells are filled with a three cheese filling mixed with fresh herbs, all covered in marinara sauce, topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs and baked until beautifully browned. These Three Cheese Stuffed Shells are simple, quick and impressive, a dish that everybody will love for sure.
This is the classic version of stuffed shells, but you can always make variations to the dish like adding meat, or different herbs or vegetables and have amazing dishes each time. Serve it alongside a fresh salad and some garlic bread. Hope you will give this recipe a try and enjoy as much as we did:)
Easy Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
- 20 jumbo pasta shells (about 7oz - 200g)
Three Cheese Filling
- 15 oz (430g) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups (200g) shredded mozzarella cheese , divided
- 1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg , beaten
- 2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tsp (3g) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1g) ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp (1g) garlic powder
- 21 oz (600g) tomato puree
- 1 tbsp (14g) olive oil
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1 tsp (5g) sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh basil and oregano
- 1 tsp (5g) salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (30g) breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp (14g) butter , melted
- Prepare marinara sauce. In a medium skillet, heat olive-oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Add tomato puree, sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened.
- When done, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C). Grease a 8 X 12 inch (20x30cm) baking dish with olive oil or melted butter ( 9×13 inch dish works as well).
- While you prepare the marinara sauce, cook the pasta in salted water with 3-4 minutes less than package instructions, in my case for 11 minutes.
- In a medium bowl mix together ricotta cheese with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh basil and oregano, beaten egg, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.
- Using a spoon or simply a piping bag fill each shell with the ricotta mixture.
- Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the pan.
- Arrange the filled shells over the sauce.
- Top the shells with remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- In a small bowl mix the breadcrumbs with melted butter.
- Spread breadcrumbs over the top.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and bake for 15 minutes more. If necessary, broil for a few minutes until the cheese has the desired golden brown look.
- Decorate with fresh basil and enjoy!