Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Ricotta Stuffed Shells with an easy homemade marinara sauce and garlicky ricotta filling in just 30 minutes.

Stuffed shells are a hit in our house and these are popular because they’re like 30 minute cheesy lasagna without all the extra effort!

Ricotta Stuffed Shells
 Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Yes, more stuffed shells. We love them and I finally wanted to share the classic version with you all after the Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed ShellsCheesy Taco Stuffed Shells, and Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed Shells.

Why stuffed shells? They’re a total breeze to make and freeze into individual servings, or to take for lunch or to serve to kids. Little ones eat 1 shell usually while the rest of us do 2-3 shells each and we just serve it up with an easy Italian salad made with Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing (Copycat).

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

The trick to making the stuffed shells is in not overcooking the pasta. When you boil it at first you can cook it for 1-2 minutes shy of the instructions because we are going to be baking it for almost 30 minutes in the oven.

If you are worried about the pasta drying out you can even add a 1/2 cup of water to the marinara sauce to give the pasta more moisture to soak up.

What is the name of Stuffed Pasta?

The classic name for stuffed shells is conchiglie which is comes from conchiglia which is the Italian word for shells. In case you’re wondering why I know that I can tell you I learned it on a Royal Caribbean cruise when a child at our table kept asking the waiter for the “conch noodles” and we were all confused about what sort of rare conch caribbean treat we were all in for.

Yea… it was a cruise, no rare local seafood. It was a classic stuffed pasta. I laughed way too hard because I care way too much about food.

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

How long can you keep stuffed shells with cheese in the refrigerator?

The stuffed shells can be made 1-2 days ahead of baking in the refrigerator, but do not cover it with the pasta sauce until just before baking as the noodles will soak up excess moisture and the texture of the pasta will be different.

Can you freeze these stuffed shells ahead of time?

Yes, you can freeze the stuffed shells at the step before baking. When you’re ready to bake them, you can place the frozen pieces onto a baking pan, cover with the tomato sauce and bake for 5-10 more minutes than directed in the instructions.

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Ricotta Stuffed Shells
5 from 15 votes

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Ricotta Stuffed Shells with an easy homemade marinara sauce and garlicky ricotta filling in just 30 minutes.
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked pasta, pasta, ricotta, Ricotta Stuffed Shells, stuffed shells
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 615 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells dried
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce about 28 ounces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bring a pot of water to a boil.

  2. Add the shells and cook for 1 minute shy of the directions on the box.

  3. To a large bowl add the eggs, ricotta, garlic the mozzarella and half the parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

  4. Mix the ingredients well.

  5. Spoon the mixture into the shells and put them in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

  6. Top with marinara sauce and bake.

  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

  8. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 615 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Sodium 1394mg61%
Potassium 719mg21%
Carbohydrates 54g18%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 1455IU29%
Vitamin C 8.6mg10%
Calcium 531mg53%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Almost followed recipe, added one more quart of sauce, I like it cooked down and thick. Love the stuffing, being a man tryin gto make stuffed shells must look comical to my wife. I am Irish, she is the Italian…love the recipe, it’s cooking now…

  2. Followed recipe completely! It turned out beautifully, My casserole dish was smaller than a 9×13 so I had extra filling which I just re I poured the Mariana sauce over it. No leftovers, Great recipe!

  3. It made plenty for my big family. Ended up filling two 9×9 pans and a small casserole dish. I had to run to dg and grab another marinara sauce and used the whole thing. I had about a fourth of the cheese left over after stuffing but after reading some comments learned it would have been great on my toast.

  4. I really enjoyed making the stuffed riccato shells.and so easy and delicious. The 2nd time I made it I added browned ground beef, it was also fabulous.

  5. Homemade ricotta solves the “watery” situation. And not hard to make. Just hard to not use it up before making the shells by slathering it on bread! Great recipe.

  6. Just tried this last night — it was the first time I made stuffed shells. I was generous with the garlic and mixed in some extra mozz to tone down the texture of the ricotta which my fiance dislikes and he ended up loving it!

    One additional thing I did that my family loved was I took the shells out after 25 mins, turned my oven to a low broil and put some mozzarella on top for browning — made it look extra scrumptious!

  7. This link was E-mailed to me by a coworker, so I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks good. My wife is allergic to gluten and eggs, so I’ll try to find gluten-free shells. Any suggestion on egg substitution? What happens if I just omit them? My daughter doesn’t like gluten-free pasta, so I’ll have to cook two dishes, one regular and one gluten-free.

    1. You can just leave the eggs out and add another cup of mozzarella cheese. The egg just acts as a binder but you should be fine leaving it out. Good luck!

  8. Absolutely delicious!!! Easy to find ingredients and clear instructions. I found I had to gently keep shells moving so they wouldn’t stick to pan bottom while boiling. Don’t skimp on sauce-I did as jar was 24 oz. Also, read somewhere recently to simmer garlic briefly to remove bitterness. Worked well. Great recipe for sure fire results!!!

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