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A white baking dish containing cheese stuffed shells with meat sauce and a drizzle of pesto

Stuffed Shells with Meat

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


Baked Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Meat is a total swoon-worthy dinner that the whole family will be obsessed with. Jumbo pasta shells filled with a flavorful mixture of cheese and herbs, then covered in homemade Ragu sauce and baked to perfection!


  • 1 lb. jumbo shells
  • Homemade Ragu Sauce
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • optional: pesto or fresh basil for garnish


  1. To start, make my simple Homemade Ragu Sauce.
  2. Next, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water to season and add jumbo pasta shells. Cook noodles until al dente according to package instructions. (approximately 12-14 minutes) Drain the water and set the noodles aside.
  3. Make the ricotta cheese filling: to a small bowl add ricotta, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, basil, parsley and oregano. Mix everything together, put in a large ziplock bag, seal and cut the corner off. This will be used as a “piping” tool later. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Cover the bottom of a 13″x9″ baking dish with half of the ragu sauce.
  6. Working with one pasta shell at a a time, fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture by piping it in using the ziplock bag. Place the filled shells in the prepared baking dish and repeat until all the shells or cheese filling is used up.
  7. Spoon the remaining sauce over top the filled shells and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  9. Top with pesto or fresh basil to garnish and serve.


  • Makes 8-10 servings.
  • To Make Ahead: Transfer filled shells to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to proceed, layer stuffed shells into casserole dish with sauce and bake as usual. If shells were frozen, thaw in the fridge before assembling and baking.
  • To Store & Reheat: Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through.
  • To Freeze: Store cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months, thawing in the fridge before reheating.


  • Serving Size: 3-4 shells
  • Calories: 463
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 603 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Cholesterol: 69 mg

Keywords: stuffed shells ricotta, how to make stuffed shells, stuffed pasta shells