Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a lasagna-inspired blend of ricotta, mozzarella, spinach, and ground beef in this family-friendly recipe.


Recipe Summary

15 mins
50 mins
1 hr 5 mins
9 servings


Original recipe yields 9 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1/2 of the ground beef with a big pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the beef is seared and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and cook the remainder. Set all meat aside.

  • Lower the heat to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the onion. Saute until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and oregano, followed by the ground beef and one jar of sauce. Stir to combine and reduce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Strain; feel free to reserve some pasta water to add to the sauce if you like.

  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in another pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute until lightly golden. Transfer garlic to a mixing bowl with ricotta, mozzarella, spinach, basil, and lemon zest and juice. Add salt to taste.

  • Pour remaining tomato sauce into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spoon the cheese mixture into the shells followed by the meat mixture. As you finish stuffing each shell, place it in the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the shells are hot in the center and the mozzarella cheese is melted and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

540 calories; protein 39.3g; carbohydrates 37.3g; fat 26.3g; cholesterol 99.2mg; sodium 998.6mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
Sounds great! Can't wait to try it! But... I'll probably use fresh spinach. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Though it takes awhile to prepare, it was great! I used the Allrecipes site to adjust the servings (and ingredient proportions) from 9 to 12, which worked better. Read More