Simple Stuffed Shells

A make-ahead version of an Italian classic, these cooked pasta shells are stuffed with hearty beef, ricotta and mozzarella. Make a double batch and keep one in the freezer for a handy potluck dish.

  • Prep Time 40 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 30 min
  • Servings 6

Ingredients

2
tablespoons olive oil
1
medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1
clove garlic, finely chopped
1
lb ground beef
1
can (28 oz) Muir Glen™ organic diced tomatoes, undrained
Salt and pepper to taste
1
box (12 oz) jumbo pasta shells
2
cups ricotta cheese
2
cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1
egg
2
tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Additional chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired

  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • 2 In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beef. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked. Stir in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook uncovered about 20 minutes until liquid is reduced.
  • 3 Meanwhile, cook and drain pasta shells as directed on box, using minimum cook time. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain.
  • 4 In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the egg and 2 tablespoons basil.
  • 5 Spoon about 2 cups meat sauce into baking dish. Using small spoon, carefully fill each pasta shell with about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture (do not overfill). Invert shells and place on sauce in baking dish. Spoon remaining meat sauce over shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • 6 Bake uncovered about 30 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish with additional basil.

Expert Tips

If you can’t find jumbo pasta shells, use manicotti shells.

This dish can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake.

You can substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves if fresh basil isn’t available.