Coupon Clipping Cook

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells in Marinara Sauce

Simple good comfort food at its best.

Stuffed Shells with Marinara

It doesn’t make sense that these stuffed shells would taste as good as they do because the recipe so simple to make.

These stuffed shells are cooked in a marinara sauce that takes less time to make then grabbing a jar of premade sauce off the grocery store shelf and putting it in a shopping cart.

And no need to dirty another pan when making this delicious sauce; it’s made in the same casserole dish that the shells are baked in.

Stuffed Shells with Marinara

These shells are stuffed with filling made with Italian sausage, 3 types of cheese (ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan) along with chopped parsley and green onion.

The combination of the flavors in the filling, the shells that are cooked firmly (al-dente) and the marinara sauce tastes soooo good together.

These stuffed shells with marinara sauce make a light main dish that tastes wonderful served with “Antipasto Salad with Salami” and a “Quick and Easy Garlic Bread“, or served by its delicious itself.

Let’s check out the ingredients.

Stuffed Shells Ingredients

For the Pasta Shells – Jumbo pasta shells, water and salt

For the Marinara Sauce – Tomato sauce, water, granulated garlic, dried oregano leaves and ground black pepper

For the Filling – Cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (or grated), shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped parsley and chopped green onion

For the Toppings – Shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (or grated)

For the Baking Dish – A 2 quart, 7 inch by 11 inch rectangular baking dish (about 1-1/2 inches deep)

printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

Here’s how to make it.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the Marinara Sauce:

Pour Tomato Sauce in Pan

To a casserole dish,

Add Tomato Sauce to Pan

…add tomato sauce.

Pour Water in Tomato Sauce

Fill the empty can of tomato sauce about half full with water, and pour the water in with the tomato sauce (a great way to use up the tomato sauce that sticks to the inside of the can).

Granulated Garlic in Tomato Sauce

Next, to the tomato mixture add granulated garlic…

Pepper in Tomato Sauce

pepper…

Oregano in Tomato Sauce

…and oregano.

Oregano in Tomato Sauce

Stir the ingredients together,

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

and set aside.

For the Shells:

Boil Water in Pan

In a large sauce pan, add water and salt.

Heat the pan on medium heat and bring the water to a boil.

Pasta Shell in Boiling Water

To the pan,

Pasta Shells in Boiling Water

add the shells and cook until the shells are al dente (according to package directions) (about 8 minutes).

Boiling Water with Pasta

Boiling Pasta in Pan

Cooked Pasta Shells on Plate

Drain the shells and set aside (don’t rinse the shells).

TIP – Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it. When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed.

The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.

For the Filling:

Cooked Sausage in Bowl

In a medium size bowl, add the cooked and crumbled Italian sausage,

Ricotta Cheese in Bowl

…ricotta cheese,

Chopped Green Onions

Stuffed Shell Mixture in Bowl

chopped green onion,

Shredded Cheese in Bowl

Shredded Cheese in Bowl

shredded Parmesan cheese,

Mozzarella Cheese in Bowl

shredded mozzarella cheese,

Chopped Parsley on Board

and chopped parsley.

Stuffed Shells Filling in Bowl

Next,

Stuffed Shells Filling in Bowl

…stir together.

Stuffed Shells Filling in Bowl

Using a small spoon,

Stuffed Shells with Filling

…fill each pasta shell with the filling.

Fill Stuffed Shells

Next, give the sauce one more stir.

Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce

and add the shells, filling side up to the baking dish in the sauce.

For the Topping:

Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce

Shredded Cheese on Shells

Top the shells with the remaining shredded mozzarella,

Shredded Cheese on Shells

and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Stuffed Shells with Marinara

Bake uncovered in a preheated oven until the cheese topping is completely melted and the edges of the cheese are starting to turn slightly brown; which is about the same amount of time that the cheese and sausage filling heats up all the way through (20 minutes).

Stuffed Shells in Bowl

Serve warm with a side salad and garlic bread…

Stuffed Shells with Marinara

…or just by itself.

Stuffed Shells with Marinara

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Pasta Recipes You May Like:

Sloppy Joe and Macaroni and Cheese

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce

Chicken, Pasta and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

Browned Butter and Lemon Pasta with Bacon

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Print Recipe

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells in Marinara Sauce

Simple good comfort food at its best.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Marinara Sauce, Pasta, Stuffed Shells
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

For the Shells and Filling:

  • 12 jumbo pasta shells
  • Water for boiling the shells
  • 3 teaspoons salt for the boiling water

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup cooked and crumbled Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) chopped fresh parsley curly or Italian parsley
  • 2 green onions chopped (including the green top part)

For the Toppings:

  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh shredded Parmesan cheese or Grated Parmesan Cheese

For the Baking Dish:

  • 2 quart, 7 inch by 11 inch rectangular baking dish about 1-1/2 inches deep

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the Marinara Sauce:

  1. To a casserole dish, add tomato sauce, granulated garlic, pepper and oregano. 

  2. Fill the empty can of tomato sauce about half full with water (about 3/4 cup), and pour the water in with the tomato sauce (a great way to use up the tomato sauce that sticks to the inside of the can).

  3. Stir the ingredients together and set aside.

For the Shells:

  1. In a large sauce pan, add water and salt.  Heat the pan on medium heat and bring the water to a boil.  

  2. To the pan, add the shells and cook until the shells are al dente (according to package directions) (about 8 minutes). Drain the shells and set aside (don't rinse the shells).

  3. Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it. When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed. The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.

For the Filling:

  1. In a medium size bowl, add the cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, chopped green onion, Parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and chopped parsley.  Stir together. 

  2. Using a small spoon, fill each pasta shell with the filling.

  3. Give the sauce one more stir, and add the shells, filling side up to the baking dish in the sauce. 

For the Toppings:

  1. Top the shells with the remaining shredded mozzarella, and shredded Parmesan cheese. 

  2. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven until the cheese topping is completely melted and the edges of the cheese are starting to turn slightly brown; which is about the same amount of time that the cheese and sausage filling heats up all the way through (about 20 minutes).

  3. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

TIPS

  1. Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it. When pasta is rinsed, the starch is removed. The starch on pasta helps to hold and absorb the sauce so it’s important to keep the starch on the pasta.

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6 Comments

  1. What if we substitute the water with red cooking wine?!?! I might make this for a new years dinner party!

  2. that looks super yummy! i love how you used shortcuts! 🙂

  3. This looks sooo simple to make, and looks sooo flavorful. Yummo!