Three Cheese Stuffed Shells is a cheese lover’s delight! Jumbo pasta shells are loaded with three kinds of cheese then baked in savory marinara sauce until hot and bubbly. It’s the ideal recipe for an easy weeknight supper, perfect for feeding a crowd and makes a great freezer meal.
Did somebody say cheese? If they did, then move out of the way! Lately, I’ve been on kind of a cheese kick and I offer no apologies for it. Over the weekend I made Pimento Cheese Sausage Dip and a double batch of Blue Cheese Dressing. After that, to keep my cheese train rolling strong, I made Three Cheese Stuffed Shells.
This recipe has been a favorite in my family for years. It’s so simple to make and is always a crowd-pleaser whenever it’s served. It makes a nice size casserole so it’s great when you’re entertaining or feeding a crowd. Last but not least, you can whip up the recipe and freeze it for those times when you really don’t have the time or desire to cook.
What You’ll Need To Make Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
- Jumbo Pasta Shells
- Ricotta Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper
How To Make Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
To get this recipe going, the first thing to do is make the marinara sauce. You can skip this step and use your favorite store-bought sauce but honestly, homemade sauce is so good that I recommend not skipping this step. Saute a small chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add-in a can of good quality crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper then let simmer while you cook the pasta. That’s it, easy, peasy.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta shells in salted water according to the package directions. As the pasta cooks, mix up the cheese mixture. Add the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese to a bowl along with an egg, garlic powder, salt, and parsley. Stir together.
When the shells are done, drain, rinse, and get ready to build the dish. Pour about three-fourths of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each shell with the cheese mixture then place it in the pan. Once the pan is full of the stuffed shells, drizzle over more sauce and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, serve, then sit back and enjoy!
Can You Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make the stuffed shells 1-2 days ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator, BUT DO NOT add the marinara sauce until just before baking as the noodles will soak up excess moisture and the texture of the pasta will be affected.
How To Freeze Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
Make the shells and freeze them in a ziptop bag. When you’re ready to bake, just pour some marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, layer on the stuffed shells, cover with additional sauce and bake for 5-10 more minutes more than the recipe directions.
What To Serve With Three Cheese Stuffed Shells
If you make this recipe, let me know!
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- 1 12 ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- 15 ounce container Ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Set oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- To a large bowl add ricotta cheese, 1 ½ cup of mozzarella, and ½ cup of Parmesan, egg, parsley, salt, and garlic powder. Mix together.
- Spoon ¾ of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with cheese filling and place on top of sauce. Drizzle remaining sauce over the stuffed shells and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion and cook on medium low heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes being careful not to burn. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and Italian seasoning. Stir. Simmer on low until pasta shells are cooked.