Beef / Dinner Ideas / Pasta

Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells

Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells are made with a savory beef and ricotta filling, tender shells, and a delicious saucy base with a melted cheese topping!

close up top view of pasta shells stuffed with beef and topped with shredded cheese and marinara

Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells are a fusion of classic lasagna flavors packed into jumbo pasta shells for a fun twist on the traditional dish. This hearty meal begins with perfectly al dente pasta shells, each one stuffed with a rich blend of ground beef and creamy ricotta cheese. It is a fantastic dish for both weeknight dinners and special occasions, and it’s always a favorite dinner.

Why We Love This Pasta Recipe

  • Flavorful Filling: The ground beef is mixed with marinara sauce, which adds depth to the flavor and keeps the beef moist and tender.
  • Cheesy Goodness: The combo of ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella in the cheese filling provides a creamy texture and a blend of sharp and mild flavors.
  • Family Appeal: This recipe is a crowd-pleaser with its familiar ingredients and comforting flavors, making it a hit among both kids and adults.
cutting into stuffed pasta shells with a fork

Ingredients For Stuffed Pasta Shells

  • For the Pasta: jumbo pasta shells and water.
  • For the Beef: olive oil, yellow onion, fresh garlic, ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and marinara sauce.
  • For the Cheese: ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, dried oregano, and parsley.
top shot of cooking ground beef in a black skillet

How to Make Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells

  1. Prepare the Shells: Boil the jumbo shells according to the package directions. Then, drain the shells and place them back into the pot with cold water to cover; set aside.
  2. Prepare the Ground Beef: Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet and saute the onions, garlic, seasonings, and beef until the beef is browned. Stir in ½ cup of marinara, cook 2 minutes more, and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Cheese Filling: In a mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, parmesan, eggs, oregano, and one cup of mozzarella. Add the ricotta mixture to the meat and mix well to combine.
  4. Stuff the Shells and Arrange in Pan: Spread a cup of marinara over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Drain the pasta shells well. Stuff each shell with 2 tablespoons of filling and arrange in the pan. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella.
  5. Bake and Serve: Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375˚F for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, garnish with parsley, and serve.
preparing lasagna stuffed pasta shells for baking

Tips for the Best Stuffed Pasta Shells

  • Pasta Prep: Don’t overcook the pasta shells so they don’t fall apart when stuffing and can maintain their texture after baking.
  • Cold Water: Rinse boiled shells with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together.
  • Season Generously: Be generous with seasoning the beef and cheese fillings to ensure each shell is flavorful.
  • Filling Consistency: Make sure the ricotta mixture isn’t too wet or runny – it should be thick enough to hold its shape when the shells are stuffed.
  • Experiment with Fillings: Add vegetables like spinach to the cheese mixture or swap the ground beef for sausage.
  • Make Ahead: Assemble the dish ahead of time and refrigerate. Just add a few extra minutes to the baking time if you’re starting from cold.

Serving Suggestions

It’s always good to accompany a hearty pasta dish with a fresh salad. I like my crisp, crunchy Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Dressing, or try this Shrimp Salad with Avocados. I also like serving this dish with Crispy Air Fryer Parmesan Zucchini Fries or with these Romano Beans.

overhead shot of baked pasta shells stuffed with lasagna mixture of beef and cheese.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze this for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat, place in the oven, covered with foil, and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Lasagna Stuffed Pasta Shells

An easy and delicious casserole of jumbo pasta shells stuffed with a ground beef-ricotta filling and cooked in savory marinara with cheese.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: easy pasta recipe, pasta dinner, stuffed pasta shells
Servings: 8
Calories: 416kcal


  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) Marinara sauce, divided, (you can also use your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce)
  • 1 tub (15 ounces) reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • teaspoons dried oregano, or any other favorite dried herb
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Prepare the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and put the shells back into the pot; fill the pot with cold water and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet set over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the beef; season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook the beef until browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Stir in ¾ cup marinara and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, parmesan cheese, eggs, and oregano; mix and stir until combined.
  • Add the meat mixture to the ricotta mixture and stir until incorporated.
  • Add 1 cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Drain the shells.
  • Spoon the lasagna filling into the shells – about 2 tablespoons of filling per shell.
  • Arrange the shells in the baking dish and top them with the remaining cheese and marinara sauce.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 4 to 5 more minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.


  • Cooking the Pasta: Cook the pasta shells just until al dente. It will be easier to stuff them, and they will retain their shape after baking.
  • Cooling the Shells: Cool the pasta shells with cold water after boiling to halt the cooking process and prevent them from becoming sticky.
  • Filling Variations: Feel free to incorporate greens like spinach into your cheese mix, or consider using sausage instead of ground beef for a different twist.
  • Prepare Ahead: You can put together the entire dish in advance and just store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, simply add a few minutes to the baking time and bake until it is heated through.


Serving: 3stuffed shells | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 901mg | Potassium: 647mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 860IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 358mg | Iron: 3mg

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