Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffing Recipe
Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffing Recipe photo by Johnsonville®

Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffing Recipe

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Shells and cheese can be a great snack, but Johnsonville can transform it into a meal! This recipe combines all of your favorite Italian cheeses with the savory deliciousness of Johnsonville Italian Sausages. The result? An authentic Italian dish that will leave your stomach full and happy.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 35 min.
MAKES:6 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Cook: 35 min.
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) Johnsonville® Mild or Sweet Ground Sausage
  • 1 box (12.5 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jars (24 ounces, each) marinara sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley


  1. In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, until pork is no longer pink; drain.
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Using a pastry brush, coat sides and bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with oil.
  4. Pour half of the marinara sauce into baking dish. In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, 2-1/2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, basil, pepper and prepared sausage. Stuff shells with meat mixture; arrange in baking dish. Pour remaining marinara sauce over shells.
  5. Cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffing in Johnsonville® Sausage 2016

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Reviewed Feb. 20, 2015

"To ktype: Maybe it's the brand or type of marinara sauce you are using. There really isn't anything in this recipe that would make the sauce too sweet."

Reviewed Oct. 31, 2014

"A nice switch from the normal stuffed shells , I used Oregano and only a little bit of Basil , I just love the Oregano flavor , thanks for sharing"

Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"Absolutely delicious!!! Used Jimmy Dean Italian sausage, very flavorful. Used gourmet Mario Batali marinara (from Costco). This made a ton. Will make again for sure!!!!!!"

Reviewed Oct. 19, 2014

"Very ordinary.... Marinara sauce was way too sweet. Won't be making this again."

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2014

"Delish!! I need to be very cautious with foods and can not have preservatives, MSG, etc so I didn't use the name brand sausage but used some made at a near by butcher. Maybe even better the next day!! Lots of cheese. My husband said he thought it was "way better" than he could get in a restaurant and definite keep the recipe!!"

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