Rating: 4.65 stars
88 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 18
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0

Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of cheese and try to avoid it whenever possible. So dishes that are stuffed with things like ricotta turn me off. I created this dish as a compromise to my cheese avoidance and my husband's love of Italian food. Serve this with garlic bread and a salad for a wonderful family dinner.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish.

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  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook shells in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet; place drained pasta on baking sheet to cool.

  • Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Cook and crumble sausage until it has lost its pink color and begins to brown. Remove from heat; drain off grease.

  • Stir half of the shredded cheese and the Italian seasoning into the browned sausage. Spoon mixture into the pasta shells (1 to 2 tablespoons per shell). Arrange stuffed shells in prepared baking dish. Pour marinara sauce evenly over the shells. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

  • Bake in preheated oven until heated through and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake until browned, 5 to 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of Italian seasoning, if desired.

Cook's Note:

If you don't like a lot of sauce, adjust to suit your personal tastes. And if you prefer, you can sprinkle parsley flakes on the baked shells instead of Italian seasoning.

Nutrition Facts

578 calories; protein 30.2g; carbohydrates 57.3g; fat 24.6g; cholesterol 60.3mg; sodium 1171.4mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (86)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2016
I'm the author of this recipe, and since submitting it I've started adding fresh spinach that I've run through the food processor into the meat/cheese mixture. (Had to sneak those veggies in for the picky kids...and I may have told them it was parsley and basil. LOL) It's completely not necessary to add the spinach, but it does add in some nutrition. I hope you enjoy! Read More
(42)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/12/2019
Olive oil, vs vegg oil, is a no brainer in any Mediterranean type meal. Better flavor and a healthier fat type makes it an easy substitution. Some garlic, cloves best, is always a knee jurk for these type meals as well. Read More
88 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 18
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2016
I'm the author of this recipe, and since submitting it I've started adding fresh spinach that I've run through the food processor into the meat/cheese mixture. (Had to sneak those veggies in for the picky kids...and I may have told them it was parsley and basil. LOL) It's completely not necessary to add the spinach, but it does add in some nutrition. I hope you enjoy! Read More
(42)
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2016
I was looking for a recipe without ricotta cheese to make for my Dad. I doubled the recipe and used 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 Italian sausage. Instead of shredded mozzarella cheese I used the fresh soft mozzarella balls. They are too soft to shred so I diced them. I put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan before putting the filled shells in. I put a cube of diced mozzarella in each shell before filling with meat mixture. These came out really good. Thanks for the recipe:) Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
02/23/2018
This is a fabulous recipe. This first time made it, I followed the recipe just as written including the spinach. Turned out great. The second time my wife wanted to experiment a little, so we mixed ricotta cheese with a smaller portion of mozzarella cheese in the sausage. Used a dash of cayenne pepper to give it a little kick and added a little garlic power. Wow, this was perfect for us. My daughter’s mother-in-law is Italian and makes shells every Christmas when we visit. Everyone thinks hers are the best. I guarantee these shells will give her a run for the money. I could eat this everyday. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2016
Fabulous! We could not believe the incredible flavors! We get mild sausage from a local Italian deli and no salt organic marinara and herbs pasta sauce from Walnut Acres at our local grocery store. A new favorite. Making it for a special dinner soon. Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
09/10/2019
This was a easy recipe, but next time I would double the meat recipe. Maybe I put to much in so ran out and still had noodles to fill. My husband loved it because it did not have ricotta cheese. Oh one more thing I used a cookie scooper to fill the noodles it works great. . Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
09/09/2019
It was "Ok." If you use Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage and a bottle of Pasta Sauce - you don't need to add all the extra seasonings. Marinara doesn't have Italian seasoning in it and regular sausage doesn't have Italian seasonings in it - therefore why use them only to add Italian seasoning? Mix pasta sauce in with the ground sausage 5 min. b/4 the sausage is fully cooked, so it doesn't dry out in the oven. If you spoon it into the shells while still hot, then add cheese, you only need to put it into the oven with "no-foil" for about 15 min (depending on y our stove) or until the cheese is melted. This is a meal that you can put together fast, so it is great for weeknight meals. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2016
Made it a couple of weeks ago because my husband doesn't like cheese stuffed pasta...wasn't expecting much because of the limited ingredients. It was amazing gave us a ton of leftovers which we managed to eat within a few days! I'm making it again today thanks for the great recipe! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/10/2021
The best one yet. For my big Brothers birthday. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2017
My family loved this recipe. I made it as instructed and it turned out great. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
09/12/2019
Olive oil, vs vegg oil, is a no brainer in any Mediterranean type meal. Better flavor and a healthier fat type makes it an easy substitution. Some garlic, cloves best, is always a knee jurk for these type meals as well. Read More