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Stuffed Pasta Shells Surprise

Rated as 4.5 out of 5 Stars

"This is two very different stuffed shell recipes made from one basic recipe. I use leftover meat from the week to make this recipe. They can be a meal or an appetizer. It adds variety to a meal and can also be made meatless by adding water chestnuts or other vegetables. Serve with Caesar salad and a loaf of hot crusty garlic bread or sticks for dunking."
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1 h 15 m servings 631
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the shell pasta, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 13 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray 2 9x13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray. Combine the 2 cups mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, spinach, and pesto together in a bowl.
  4. Stir half of the cheese-spinach mixture into the cooked beef. Season with garlic powder. Spread about 1 cup spaghetti sauce into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Stuff 12 pasta shells with the beef and cheese mixture, then arrange in the baking dish. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  5. Mix the remaining spinach-cheese mixture with ham and crab. Stuff the last 12 pasta shells with the ham mixture, and arrange in another 9x13-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Pour the alfredo sauce on top, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake both casseroles in the preheated oven until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 631 calories; 35.8 41.2 36.3 105 1563 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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Loved it and I only did the beef mixture! I needed to use up left over bratwurst, so I substituted that for the ground beef and it was great and easy too. I had no pesto but was still great. ...

I loved this recipe! I made both at the same time and froze one so I didn't have to cook on another night. Big plus for a busy mom of twins!

This is a lot of work, but worth it.

I made only the ham/crab dish last night, kiddos loved it, grownups thought it could have used some more flavor.