Easy Stuffed Shells

a pan of stuffed shells.

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Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with three different kinds of cheese, baked in marinara sauce, and topped with even more melty mozzarella. It’s a classic comfort food dinner that’s easy to make.


  • 1 box (16 ounces) jumbo shells
  • 1 (24-oz) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the shells until al dente according to the time on the package directions– about 10 minutes. Drain the shells and spread them on a baking sheet or plate to cool.
  3. Mix the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, ¾ cup parmesan, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Fill each shell with the cheese mixture (about 2 tablespoons each)) and place them open-side up in the baking dish.
  5. Top the shells with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the top.
  6. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake the stuffed shells for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake them for about five minutes more or until the cheese is melted on top. Sprinkle some chopped parsley over the top for garnish.


You can use your favorite homemade marinara or use store-bought marinara. My favorite brand is Rao’s.

You can make this recipe a day ahead, store it in the fridge, and then bake it. You may need to add a few minutes of baking time.

You can also mix up the cheese filling ahead to have it ready when it’s time to make dinner. Mix it up the night before or day ahead – this makes it easy for weeknight dinners.

Leftover stuffed shells will keep for two to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.