Make-Ahead Unstuffed Shells


You can assemble and refrigerate this cheesy, beefy pasta shell dish on Sunday night and, the next day, dinner's on the table in 45 minutes.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
6 (1 1/2-cup) servings


  • 4 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked

  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef

  • 1 (20 ounce) jar pasta sauce

  • ¾ cup PHILADELPHIA Light Cream Cheese Spread

  • ½ cup milk

  • ¼ cup KRAFT 100% Parmesan Shredded Cheese

  • cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1 ½ cups KRAFT Part Skim Mozzarella Shredded Cheese


  1. Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet. Stir in pasta sauce; simmer on medium heat 2 min., stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

  2. Drain pasta. Whisk cream cheese spread, milk and Parmesan in large bowl until well blended. Add pasta and basil; stir gently until pasta is evenly coated. Spread half the meat sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; cover with pasta mixture and remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella; cover with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake casserole, covered, 40 to 45 min. or until heated through, uncovering after 30 min.


Substitute: Substitute fresh parsley for the basil.

Special Extra: Cook 1 each small chopped onion and green pepper along with the meat.

Variation: Casserole can be baked immediately after assembling. Reduce baking time to 30 min., uncovering after 20 min.

Special Extra: Garnish with additional 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil just before serving.

Recipe nutrition information prepared by Food to Facts for KRAFT Canada Inc.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 570 calories, 18g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 80mg cholesterol, 740mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate, 5g dietary fibre, 10g sugars, 39g protein, 20%DV vitamin A, 10%DV vitamin C, 30%DV calcium, 35%DV iron.