Cheesy beef stuffed shells are a fun twist on the every day spaghetti and meat sauce. You will have the whole family wanting to help with this pasta dinner!
It may not be a one pot meal, but these cheesy beef stuffed shells are so simple and fun you won't even mind.
Cheesy, meat filled jumbo pasta shells will please just about anyone in your family!
Most stuffed shell recipes out there are stuffed with mostly ricotta cheese, but this version bumps up the protein with ground beef for a hearty meal.
This recipe is easily a prep ahead, make ahead or even a freezer friendly meal.
This is also a really great way to get everyone in the kitchen helping with the stuffing of the shells!
Here is what you need to make
- Jumbo Shells- These are the reason for the not so one pot meal. They do require boiling before baking.
- Pasta Sauce- I always have a Sneaky Spaghetti Sauce ready to use but any of your favorite sauces will work. You could even try with a cream sauce like Alfredo.
- Ground Beef- You can also try using ground pork or ground turkey. For a meatless option try using ricotta cheese.
- Spices- Italian seasoning, Garlic, Salt and Pepper.
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Panko bread crumbs- Not a pantry staple for you? Crushed cracker crumbs will work as well.
Fun Fact: Panko crumbs are made from bread that is baked by an electrical current which produces a bread without crust.
Time to get stuffing these Ground Beef Stuffed Shells
- Boil the jumbo shells and set aside to cool. You will want them soft enough to stuff but still a little al dente.
- Prepare your ground beef filling. No extra cooking here as this gets stuffed raw.
- This is the fun step, stuffing the shells. Using a cookie scoop or your hands stuff the meat filling in to the jumbo shells.
- Cover the bottom of your baking dish with ½ the sauce and place the stuffed shells on top.
- Top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese and bake.
Dinner Party Tip: Wow your guest by serving the stuffed shells as individual appetizer bites
How can these beef shells be made ahead?
After they have been baked, stuffed shells are great for meal prepping.
Since the stuffed shells are already their own individual portions, meal prepping them is easy. Put desired serving size into an airtight container and store for future meal plans. Keeps up to 4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
When freezing, you want to make sure to allow the stuffed shells to cool completely to prevent freezer burn. Also make sure you cover your pan with foil.
Looking for more pasta ideas?
Try a few of these family favorite pasta recipes
ARE YOU READY TO TRY CHEESY BEEF STUFFED SHELLS?
Ground Beef Stuffed Shells
- 16 ea Jumbo Shells
- 1 lb Ground Beef, Lean
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated or shaved
- ⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups Pasta Sauce
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- Preheat Oven to 375°F
- Boil the Jumbo Shell noodles according to the directions on the box, drain and run under cold water. Set aside. Make sure they are only cooked to al dente or they will rip and be difficult to stuff.
- In a large bowl mix ground beef, spices, garlic, parmesan and panko
- Stuff the shells with the ground beef mixture- Tip: use a cookie scoop
- In a 9 x 11 baking dish, evenly spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce
- Place stuffed shells on top of sauce in baking dish
- Cover stuffed shells with remaining pasta sauce and top with mozzarella cheese
- Bake covered for 10 mins and then uncovered for 15 more mins. Use a meat thermometer to ensure beef is at least 160°F