Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe
Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe

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A dear friend first brought over this casserole when I was recovering from an accident. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit!—Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 24 jumbo shell noodles, cooked and drained

Nutritional Facts

4 stuffed shells and sauce: 430 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 866mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 32g protein


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange shells in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.
    Freeze option: After assembling, cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake as directed, adding remaining 1 cup mozzarella after 30-40 minutes and increasing time as necessary for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.
    Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Italian Stuffed Shells in Country Ground Beef 1993, p54

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Reviewed Jul. 12, 2015

"I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese and added saut?ed chopped spinach to the shells filling. Absolutely delicious and great for entertaining - a hit with young & old!"

Reviewed Feb. 28, 2015

"I followed the recipe as was a big hit with everyone.....I can see us going back to this many times......"

Reviewed Feb. 23, 2015

"My family really liked this! Thanks, we will be making again."

Reviewed Feb. 23, 2015

"To make this have any flavor at all, I would have to totally re-make the recipe. It was ok, but really had no flavor."

Reviewed Feb. 16, 2015

"It sounds Wonderful and so easy!!

Whether you are using Ricotta or Cottage Cheese doesn't really matter, you can always adjust the recipe to suit your taste, Without slamming the original recipe ladies!! That's The Fun of cooking, tweaking a recipe to suit your own taste!
This one looks like a Winner!! As soon as I have a Kitchen again, I will be making this dish!! Thank you for sharing...."

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