My husband and I usually sit down on Sunday afternoon and do a rough meal plan for the week. It makes it easier for me because it cuts down on multiple trips to the grocery store. It also keeps us from saying “so… what do you want for dinner?” 15 minutes before dinnertime.
While discussing this past week’s meals I suggested maybe we do stuffed shells. My husband reported that he didn’t recall ever having them. That response sealed the deal for me, and I decided that stuffed shells would definitely be on the menu.
Ultimate Stuffed Shells
My daughter eats my lasagna roll ups like they’re going out of style so I had a feeling she’d like the stuffed shells, too. I mean, pasta stuffed with cheese, how can you go wrong?
My husband likes his food a little more hearty than just cheese, so I also mixed in some ground beef, mushrooms and black olives. It makes a very satisfying, very tasty meal that also freezes and reheats well.
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 egg
- 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 ounces mushrooms
- 2 ounces black olives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- 1 jar pasta sauce (I use the kind with mushrooms)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook pasta shells al dente according to the instructions on the box.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat egg.
- Stir in the ricotta, Parmesan, 1½ cups shredded mozzarella, pepper, salt and garlic salt.
- In a medium skillet brown the ground beef.
- Mix in minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir beef mixture into cheese mixture (don't drain the drippings), reserving about ¼ cup of the ground beef. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and olives in the beef drippings until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Finely mince mushroom & olive mixture (you can also place in a food processor and give a few pulses).
- Fold mushrooms & olives into cheese and beef mixture.
- Pour ½ cup pasta sauce into the bottom of your prepared 9x13" pan.
- Fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of filling. Continue with remaining shells, placing them all in the pan.
- Pour remaining pasta sauce over the top of the shells.
- Sprinkle with reserved ground beef and remaining ½ cup shredded mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
I used the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Mushroom Sauce for my stuffed shells. After my husband mentioned how much he liked the meat variety that I used in my lasagna roll ups, I’ve tried to keep a jar or two on hand for when I don’t have the time (or desire) to make homemade sauce.
There are no artificial flavors, artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup in Ragú Homestyle sauce so I feel good about serving it to my family, too.
After you’ve pinned and tried my Ultimate Stuffed Shells recipe, you can head over to Ragú’s website for more recipe inspiration.