Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

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Indulge in the comforting flavors of Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses—a dish where jumbo shells are generously filled with a delightful cheese blend and crowned with a robust meat sauce. This recipe is destined to become a staple in your culinary repertoire, offering both versatility and ease of preparation.

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Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Pasta and cheese make for an unbeatable combination, and Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses perfectly encapsulates this culinary harmony. Not only is it a dish that can be prepared in advance, but it also offers flexibility in terms of cheese selection and the option to customize with or without meat.

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Alternatives to Ricotta Cheese

For those hesitant about using Ricotta Cheese, fret not. There are several alternatives to suit varying tastes and preferences.

  • Adjust the Ratios: If Ricotta’s texture or flavor isn’t to your liking, consider reducing its quantity by half and compensating with an equal amount of mozzarella. This maintains the dish’s moisture while tempering the overwhelming presence of ricotta.
  • Substitutions: Explore alternative cheeses that offer distinct flavors and textures while still complementing the dish.

Cottage Cheese – Mild in taste, akin to ricotta but with a slightly less creamy consistency. Additionally, cottage cheese is lower in fat and calories, offering a healthier alternative.

Goat Cheese – Known for its rich creaminess and subtle tartness, fresh goat cheese serves as a flavorful substitute for ricotta.

Queso Fresco – A fresh Mexican cheese boasting a mild, salty, and milky taste. Although drier than ricotta, it can be grated or crumbled as a suitable replacement.

Cream Cheese – Possessing a soft, creamy texture, cream cheese serves as a higher-fat alternative to ricotta.

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses Variations

While this recipe incorporates ground beef into the sauce, it can easily be adapted to accommodate different preferences.

  • Meatless Option: Omit the meat entirely for a vegetarian-friendly version of the dish.
  • Alternative Proteins: Substitute beef with turkey or sausage, or incorporate shredded chicken for added variety.
  • Vegetable Additions: Enhance the dish with sautéed vegetables such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, or zucchini, either mixed into the sauce or layered with the shells.
  • Additional Sauce: Elevate the dish’s richness by doubling the sauce quantity or incorporating a second jar of pasta sauce.

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Freezing Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

Yes, you can freeze Savory Stuffed Shells for future enjoyment. Prepare the dish following the instructions, but refrain from baking it. Instead, arrange the stuffed shells in a 9×13 inch aluminum pan, cover with foil, and label with cooking instructions and date. When ready to bake, simply remove from the freezer, uncover, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45 minutes. Frozen shells can be stored for up to three months. Bon appétit!

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses


  • 1 package (12 ounces / 340 grams) jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 container (16 ounces / 450 grams) ricotta cheese
  • 16 ounces (450 grams) mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 8 ounces (230 grams) parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
  • 1 jar (28 ounces / 800 grams) pasta sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions, then drain.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, white cheddar cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Stuff each jumbo shell with the cheese mixture and arrange them in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside while preparing the meat sauce.
  5. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, then add the pasta sauce.
  6. Pour the meat sauce over the stuffed shells in the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over the top.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Savory Stuffed Shells with Three Cheeses

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