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.

Recipe Summary

Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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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 60% DV; carbohydrates 57.3g 19% DV; fat 24.6g 38% DV; cholesterol 60.3mg 20% DV; sodium 1171.4mg 47% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (56)

Read More Reviews

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
(39)

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
72 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 53
  • 4 star values: 15
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 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
(38)
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
(23)
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
(20)
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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: 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)
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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: 5 stars
07/26/2017
I love this! It taste very much like lasagna. I made it to the t except I added ricotta to it. My picky kids loved it! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2017
Family loved this dish! I made it for us and company and needed a fast tasty dish. Magnificent. Read More
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