Homemade Stuffed Shells with Meat and Cheese are baked casserole-style with meat sauce, plenty of cheese, and tons of Italian flavor. This easy favorite recipe is perfect for any night of the week. –> These perfect cheese and meat stuffed shells are perfect for any night of the week.
Stuffed Shells Recipe
It’s hard to go wrong with Italian food. Pasta, cheese, and sauce are always a winning combination in my mind! These stuffed shells with meat and cheese are no exception – they’re easy, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser.
Since casseroles are the ultimate easy dinner, this stuffed shells recipe is made casserole-style. It’s the easiest way to cook and serve without any hassle (and also a great recipe to make for neighbors or company).
This Italian Stuffed Shells recipe is simple enough for weeknight dinners and fancy enough for a date night at home. No matter the occasion, everyone loves these cheese stuffed pasta shells!
Why You’ll Love this Stuffed Shells Recipe:
- CHEESY: There are 3 kinds of cheese in this meat and cheese stuffed shells recipe! The ultimate cozy and comforting dinner.
- LOADED: Jumbo shells are stuffed to the brim with a cheesy filling, covered with a meat sauce, and topped with lots of cheese. Every bite is a dream!
- EASY: Made with basic ingredients and ready in just over an hour, this homemade dinner recipe is simple to make.
How to Make Stuffed Shells with Meat
You can jump to the recipe card for full ingredients & instructions!
Stuffed shells with ground beef and three kinds of cheese are so easy to make! Here’s a quick overview of the recipe:
- Cook the jumbo pasta shells to al dente.
- Brown the beef and make the meat sauce.
- Stuff the shells with cheese and arrange them in the baking dish with the sauce.
- Cover the casserole dish and bake.
For a Mexican version, try my Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Shells and for a crockpot version, try my recipe for Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells.
Easy Stuffed Shells with Meat and Cheese Ingredients
Each part of this easy stuffed shells recipe is filled with classic, fresh, and simple Italian ingredients.
- Jumbo Pasta Shells
- Meat Sauce: olive oil, ground beef, onion, garlic, and marinara
- Cheese Filling: egg, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan
- Cheese Topping: more mozzarella and parmesan, and fresh basil for garnish
Pasta shells are traditionally known as “Conchiglie,” but most brands label them as jumbo shells.
Before assembling and baking the stuffed pasta shells, boil the pasta shells to al dente. Cook them according to the package instructions – about 9 minutes. If you want to prepare the pasta shells ahead of time, keep them in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days. When ready to bake the shells, simply stuff them, bake, and serve.
Yes! This baked stuffed shells recipe is essentially a casserole, so it’s incredibly freezer-friendly. Let the casserole cool, cover it, and place in the freezer. For single servings, portion out the pasta in freezer safe containers so it’s ready to reheat at a later time.
To reheat frozen unbaked stuffed shells, let them thaw in the refrigerator first. Once thawed, bake according to the directions below. To reheat baked stuffed shells, let them thaw in the refrigerator first. Once thawed, reheat in the oven until warmed through.
Yes! Instead of ground beef, try an equal amount of chicken or turkey. A butcher’s meatloaf mixture would also be a fantastic option.
Just like all casseroles, these Italian Stuffed Shells with ground beef and cheese can be a meal all on their own. It’s a hearty, filling, and satisfying dish!
That said, to complete this stuffed shells meal, serve with any of these sides:
- Homemade Garlic Bread
- Texas Toast Garlic Cheese Bread
- Classic Caesar Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Roasted Vegetables
I’m a fan of ALL pasta, but stuffed pasta is on a completely different level. I love how each bite is filled with cheese, meat, and sauce. So good!
- Jumbo Pasta Shells: Keep an eye on the pasta shells so they don’t overcook. After boiling, set them upside down on a baking sheet to dry.
- Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite, store-bought or homemade marinara sauce!
- Vegetarian Version: To make vegetarian stuffed shells, simply omit the meat from the sauce.
I can’t wait for you to give these stuffed shells a try! If you’re looking to feed a hungry crowd, this is the recipe for you. I can’t imagine anyone turning down this dish!
More Pasta Recipes
After you’ve made this easy stuffed shells recipe, be sure to check out some of our other carby favorites!
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy! You can also jump to recipe.
Delicious and quite easy. Lighter than many recipes of this type.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Shane!
This turned out so good! Everyone at work loved it. I had to use a round pasta that I cut in half and filled with cheese mixture using a frosting piping bag. It was pretty as well as delicious. Will make again and again. Thanks for sharing. 😋
That looks delicious, Toni!
This looks phenomenal! I am going to make it this week for sure! Becky, I don’t want to step on your toes, but please let me share something as I GUARANTEE everyone will love it. This, as in any recipe that calls for Parmesan cheese, please please please use Parmesan Reggiano instead! I promise you you will love it and won’t ever use regular Parmesan again. This is not a “to each their own”comment, this is a FACT!! Best cheese on the planet!
Thanks for sharing, Eddie!
It turned out great. I believe the 1 pound of meat was not enough so I made it with 2. I also added Italian seasoning to it and chopped the fresh basil in the cheese mixture. All family members loved it. thank you
Thanks for sharing, Noemi!
My family loves this dish. I do add some Italian seasoning to the mixture of cheeses just to add a little more flavor to the stuffed shells.
How long does this keep in the fridge?
Delicious! Thank you
So happy to hear you enjoyed them!
Seems we are having pasta shortage so I had to use different pasta but it worked out well thanks
So happy to hear!
This is a delicious recipe. Made the sauce the day before…nice and thick. I just stuffed the shell with the meat sauce and sprinkled mazzorella cheese on top. I did this because I made another dish using Ricotta n spinach for filling with a Alfredo souse. Dinner was a hit😋
Thanks for sharing, Carol Ann!
Great recipe. Swapped ricotta for the cottage cheese and added Italian seasoning to the beef. But otherwise great.
Definitely modify to your liking! Thanks for sharing!