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Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe

Classic, easy, and always a favorite.
Stuffed Shells Recipe
Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


for the marinara:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 (28-ounce|794 gram) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the pasta:
12 ounces|340 grams jumbo pasta shells
1 pound|455 grams ricotta cheese
1 pound|455 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
marinara sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil



  1. Make the marinara sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and butter and cook until thick, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Make the stuffed shells: Heat the oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the shells and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, and cool under cold running water.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, the Italian seasoning, garlic salt, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Spread about ¾ cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Working with 1 shell at a time, stuff about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each and place, open-side-up, in the baking dish. Squeeze all of the shells in there tightly. If you have extra filled shells, you can stack them on each other in another layer. Sprinkle with the remaining sauce and cheeses. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve with more parmesan cheese.

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