Pasta shells stuffed with cheese-packed savory ground beef is the ultimate comfort dinner and it’s easy to make too!
Meat Stuffed Shells Are Easy And Tasty
Stuffed shells are always a crowd pleaser. They make a great buffet food at parties too.
It’s the one Italian-style dinner I thoroughly enjoy and I make these often. You can also fill them with cheese and here’s the Cheese Shells I make.
However, the cheese variety are not as easy to make as the meat stuffed shells. The shells stuffed with meat filling are actually very quick and easy to make.
Cheese Lovers Rejoice
This meat filling is packed with mozzarella cheese and any cheese lover will sure to be pleased!
I include some Parmesan or Romano in the meat mixture too. I prefer the Romano because it’s flavor is stronger so it gives the filling a bolder flavor than the milder Paremesan imparts.
For an even bolder cheese flavor, you could also add some grated Asiago. I have never tried that, but I absolutely love Asiago cheese so I just know this would be outstanding.
When It Comes To Sauce…
These shells are one dish where I make my own sauce. Of course, you can opt to make your favorite sauce or use a high-quality sauce from the jar if you prefer.
My Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce goes perfectly with these stuffed shells. This sauce has a great texture that pairs well here. It also comes together quickly–in 15 minutes! It would be good to make double the amount of the sauce if you have family members who like loads of sauce on their pasta. But even if you don’t, that sauce stores well because it’s a meat-free sauce and that makes it suitable to serve to vegans (if you do that is). I often have it on plain spaghetti as a hurry-up meal when I don’t feel like fussing.
- 24 large shells, cooked per package directions, cooled
- 1 recipe Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce (see NOTES)
- 1½ lb lean ground beef
- 8 oz mozzarella, diced small (1/4-inch dice)
- ¾ cups plain breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan -OR- Romano cheese
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 tbs chopped fresh parsley -OR- 2 tbs dried parsley
- 2 tbs milk
- Extra parmesan cheese for topping
- ½-1 cup shredded mozzarella for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour about ¼ cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Divide into 24 equal portions (should be about the size of a ping pong ball)
- Stuff the shells tightly with the portions of meat filling. Place the filled shells in the prepared pan.
- Top with remaining sauce, then sprinkle the extra parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 60-75 minutes.
If you make my sauce recipe, add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, if desired, to extend sauce quantity.