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cheesy stuffed shells
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Cheesy Stuffed Shells with Meat

Jumbo Pasta Shells are stuffed with seasoned ground beef, then covered with parmesan cheesesauce, and mozzarella
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 422kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1 12 ounce package of jumbo shells
  • lbs. ground beef (lean)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • teaspoon dried mint
  • 3 tablespoon parmesan cheese


  • 6 ounce canned tomato paste
  • cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon citric acid
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.

  • Fill a 5-quart Dutch oven ¾ full of water. Add olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and bring the water to a boil. 
  • Add shells and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
  • Meanwhile, brown the meat in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and paprika. Cook a few more minutes and set aside to cool.
  • Note: If using higher fat ground beef, drain the extra fat from the pan.


  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce while you stuff the shells.

Stuff the Shells

  • Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Stuff each shell with approximately 1 tablespoon of filling and arrange in the prepared baking dish.
  • Pour the sauce over the stuffed shells, then sprinkle with mint and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the shells, cover with foil, and seal. 
  • Bake the meat-stuffed shells for 30 minutes.
  • Serve the stuffed shells with salad and garlic bread.


  • Be sure to drain the cooked shells completely before filling them with the meat filling.
  • In mom's original recipe, the ground beef was seasoned with allspice and curry. I've left it out in this recipe, but if you would like to try the original recipe, add 1 teaspoon of allspice and ½ teaspoon of curry to the filling.
  • Mix the ground beef with ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, or even cream cheese for a creamier pasta dish.
  • For a quicker version of this recipe, use jarred pasta sauce instead of making your own sauce.


Serving: 7shells | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1199mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g