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Lasagna Stuffed Shells Recipe- Easy Weeknight Dinner!

Lasagna Stuffed Shells. This easy dinner recipe is made with sausage, ricotta cheese, spinach, and your favorite pasta sauce! Perfect for busy weeknights or to stick in your freezer.

How to make Lasagna Stuffed Shells

This recipe for easy lasagna stuffed shells is my FAVORITE. It has everything you could ever want in a comfort food dish.

Pasta.
Cheese (so much cheese).
Sauce.

And it is easy. Easy recipes are coveted in my household. The last thing I want to do after a long day of work is come home and spend hours in the kitchen. This one takes a whopping 30 minutes to whip up.

Did I mention it is also freezer friendly?

Recipe Features:

  • Freezer Friendly: This recipe can be made in advance and frozen for up to three months.
  • Minimal Ingredients: Less than 10 ingredients! That means you can have this recipe made in a jiff.
  • Big Flavor: Italian stuffed shells with meat and ricotta cheese – you cannot get more flavorful.
Lasagna Stuffed Shells Smothered in Cheese

What You’ll Need:

  • Jumbo pasta shells- You can find these for around $1 in the pasta aisle.
  • Ricotta- Not a fan of ricotta? You can substitute cottage cheese. Although you won’t get the same texture.
  • Cheese- Both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese is used.
  • Egg- The binding agent for the filling.
  • Spinach- Optional, but delicious.
  • Spaghetti sauce- Pick your favorite sauce. I recommend this easy homemade version.
  • Meat- We reach for Italian sausage but ground beef can be used.
 

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Bring a large bottle of water to a boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of your tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×9 dish.
  3. Add the uncooked sausage to a hot pan and cook until browned. Stir in 1 cup of your tomato sauce and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl stir together the ricotta, 1/2 a cup of mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and spinach. Stir the mixture in with your sausage.
  5. Spoon a hearty amount of the filling into each shell. Place into your prepared baking dish and continue until all are filled. Smother with the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce and generously sprinkle with mozzarella.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for an additional ten minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Lasagna Stuffed Shells

Tips and FAQ’s:

Baked pasta is one of my new go-to’s thanks to this dish!

How to freeze stuffed pasta shells:

  1. Follow the instructions above until just before baking. Cover securely with heavy duty foil or a freezer container.
  2. Take your stuffed shells out of the freezer the day before you plan on cooking them. Let them slightly thaw in the refrigerator.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.
  • We make a double batch and put half into disposable tin pans.
  • Cover tightly with heavy duty foil, label, and place in a zip top bag.

This recipe is so convenient to have on hand. Pull it out on a busy weeknight and you have a filling delicious dinner ready to go.

We also use this same idea to take meals to friends and family when they need a little extra something (think new babies, surgeries, birthdays…).

Tips to make perfect lasagna stuffed shells:

  • Use fresh mozzarella. When you fresh grate cheese it melts beautifully and has a wonderful soft texture. Pre-shredded cheese does not tend to melt quite as well. With the fresh version you get that ooey gooey melted cheese that you always see in restaurants.
  • You can also try substituting Italian sausage for a breakfast or spicy variety to change up the flavor profile or leave the meat out all together.
  • These also freeze VERY well.

What to serve with pasta:

This pasta is incredibly filling all on its own. However, there are a few side dishes we frequently pair with it.

Related Recipes:

Lasagna stuffed shells- Easy dinner recipe

Lasagna Stuffed Shells

Lasagna Stuffed Shells

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Lasagna Stuffed Shells. This easy dinner recipe is made with sausage, ricotta cheese, spinach, and your favorite pasta sauce! Perfect for busy weeknights or to stick in your freezer.

Ingredients

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb sausage or hamburger

Instructions

  1. Bring a large bottle of water to a boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of your tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x9 dish.
  3. Add the uncooked sausage to a hot pan and cook until browned. Stir in 1 cup of your tomato sauce and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl stir together the ricotta, 1/2 a cup of mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and spinach. Stir the mixture in with your sausage.
  5. Spoon a hearty amount of the filling into each shell. Place into your prepared baking dish and continue until all are filled. Smother with the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce and generously sprinkle with mozzarella.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for an additional ten minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Freeze Instructions:

  1. Follow the instructions above until just before baking. Cover securely with heavy duty foil or a freezer container.
  2. Take your stuffed shells out of the freezer the day before you plan on cooking them. Let them slightly thaw in the refrigerator.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Notes

*If you like a more saucy pasta, add 1 extra cup onto your shells. This is also a good idea if you plan on freezing these for later. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 624Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 1369mgCarbohydrates: 125gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 47g
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Lasagna Stuffed Shells

Monday 9th of December 2019

[…] Original recipe from here […]

Celeste

Monday 17th of June 2019

Just curious as I have never used egg in my stuffed shells and was looking around to see what i could add to mine to switch it up a bit...what is the purpose of the egg?

Jesseca

Monday 17th of June 2019

That's a great question, Celeste. The egg in this recipe is used as a binder to keep the filling together.

Willy Robertson

Monday 31st of December 2018

Just made this using ground venison!! Turned out awesome!!

Jesseca

Monday 31st of December 2018

What an interesting idea! We will have to give it a try.

Lois

Monday 17th of December 2018

Do you use plain canned tomato sauce? Not a marinara sauce?

Jesseca

Tuesday 18th of December 2018

Good question. I use my favorite canned spaghetti sauce. I will update that in the recipe.

Katie

Thursday 13th of December 2018

Make this recipe probably once a month. Figured I should leave a review. It is SO EASY. We add chopped veggies like zucchini and sometimes broccoli. super good. thanks for sharing!

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