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Cheesy Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with creamy ricotta and topped with marinara and mozzarella cheese. These ricotta stuffed shells are an easy make-ahead dish that’s family and freezer friendly! 

Stuffed shells are a huge winner in our house. The whole family loves them and always goes back for seconds. This ricotta version is our favorite, but you can make other fun variations like these cheesy Mexican stuffed shells. So delicious!

ricotta stuffed shells in white dish

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My family absolutely loves this recipe! It’s one that every single one of my kids will eat. Even my 2 year old will eat shell after shell.

This dish is a classic and is seriously pure comfort. Creamy, cheesy and delicious. Just imagine a jumbo pasta shell stuffed with creamy ricotta and covered with marinara sauce and cheese. I mean, does it get better than that?

I love that it’s super easy to prepare and is done in less than 45 minutes. This is the perfect make ahead meal and is also freezer friendly.

ricotta stuffed shells

How to make ricotta stuffed shells

Cook noodles. Add the shells to a pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.

Assemble. Pour a cup of marinara in the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, fill the shells with the ricotta mixture. Place the shells in the pan, then top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 5 more minutes.

stuffing ricotta stuffed shells


  • If you want to add some protein, feel free to top with your favorite meat sauce or bolognese sauce.
  • Want to make spinach ricotta stuffed shells? Add 1/2 cup frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) to the cheese mixture.
  • Add red pepper flakes to the ricotta mix for a little heat.

ricotta stuffed shells in white pan

What to serve with stuffed shells?

Make ahead + freezing

To make in advance: Boil the noodles and assemble the dish according to directions. Cover with foil and place in the fridge for up to 1 day. When ready to bake, remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature while the oven warms up. Then bake according to directions.

Freezing instructions: Using a freezer safe pan, prepare the dish as directed. Do not bake and instead wrap with foil. Then store in freezer. Bake from frozen for about 50 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

ricotta stuffed shells in pan

More baked pasta dishes:

ricotta stuffed shells in pan

Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with creamy ricotta and topped with marinara and mozzarella cheese. These ricotta stuffed shells are an easy make-ahead dish that's family and freezer friendly! 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 5


  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Boil a large pot of water. Add the noodles and boil for 8 minutes or until cooked al dente. The drain and run through cool water.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13" pan with non-stick spray. Then pour 1 cup of the marinara onto the bottom of the pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Use a small cookie scoop or place the mixture in a zip top bag and snip the top off. Then fill the shells with about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the cheese mixture.
  • Place shells in pan. Then top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes covered. Then uncover and back for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.


Freezer instructions:
Prepare noodles in a foil (or freezer safe) pan. Do not bake and instead wrap with foil. Bake from frozen for 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. 

Serving: 4shells | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 1392mg | Potassium: 662mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1426IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 402mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Jamielyn Nye

stuffed shells on spoon

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