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Slow-Cooker Stuffed Shells

There's no need to precook the shells in this simple pasta dish. It's almost like magic when you open the lid and find the deliciousness waiting in the slow cooker. Add garlic bread and you're golden! —Sherry Day, Pinckney, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 4 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1 carton (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) roasted garlic Parmesan pasta sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 package (12 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
  • Optional: Additional shredded Italian cheese blend and sliced fresh basil


  • Mix first 8 ingredients (mixture will be stiff). In a greased 6-qt. slow cooker, mix 1 jar pasta sauce with water. Fill shells with ricotta mixture; layer in slow cooker. Top with remaining jar of pasta sauce.
  • Cook, covered, on low until pasta is tender, 4-5 hours. If desired, serve with additional cheese and fresh basil.
Health Tip: Relative to other cheeses, ricotta is especially high in calcium. Just 1/4 cup provides almost 20 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Nutrition Facts
4 stuffed shells: 303 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 377mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat.

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Average Rating:
  • hbaseley
    Oct 5, 2018

    This one was a disappointment for me. I found the uncooked shells hard to stuff (I had several in the package that were rolled to tight to stuff) and the mixture was so thick I couldn't use a bag to pipe in the tight shells. Also, I cooked it 5 hours on low and the shells were pretty mushy. Since it was layered (and mushy) and covered in sauce I had trouble telling how many shells I was dishing out to each person. It ended up in a glop on the plates. The flavor was just ok, but that was probably the sauce I used (Prego roasted garlic). So, this might be a great recipe for someone else, but I am going back to the traditional way of making it.

  • Maggi
    Jun 3, 2018

    I can't rate this yet. But I do have a question. Your directions do not state that the jumbo shells need to be cooked first. I can't see how i can stuff the shells before they are cooked. I need the answer ASAP.

  • Kincsem
    Sep 19, 2017

    I love this recipe. It has always come out very good! It is wonderful in the summer because I do not have to heat up the kitchen at all to make it..,I leave out the spinach because my husband won't touch any thing with still tastes wonderful. The uncooked shells are pretty easy to stuff too, especially if you let the ricotta come to room temperature, but I have stuffed them with it right from the frig too.. There are usually 2 or 3 shells that are rolled too tightly to stuff so I break them in half and lay them on the top before pouring on the final jar of sauce. Sometimes I set the slow cooker on high for the first hour, then turn it to low. Also sometimes, I sprinkle a little browned hamburger or sausage over the shells before pouring on the last jar of pasta sauce for a little different flavor.This is a simple easy tasty meal that always pleases my family. One more thing... don't lift the lid during cooking time unless absolutely necessary.