Unstuffed Shells

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield Yield: serves 8 1x
  • Category Category: Pasta
  • Method Method: Oven/Stove Top
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dinner


This is a family favorite dinner idea! All the cheesy deliciousness of classic Stuffed Shells without any  of the hassle!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (24- ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 4 cups medium shell pasta, uncooked
  • 1 (8- ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated low moisture mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Meat Sauce: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain any excess fat or liquid from the pan and place pan back onto the heat. Add in the marinara sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, and simmer while you do the next steps.
  3. Pasta: Boil the pasta according to the package directions and drain thoroughly.
  4. Cheese Mixture: In a large bowl stir together the cream cheese, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and stir until evenly combined.
  5. Assembly: Spread half of the meat sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with pasta mixture and then spread on the remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top of the dish and bake for an additional 10 – 15  minutes.


Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To make ahead, prepare the dish according to the directions, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake the following day according to the directions.


Nutrition Information:

6.9 g
796.3 mg
20.4 g
63.8 g
26.8 g
102.9 mg

Keywords: cookies and cups, stuffed shells, unstuffed shells, casserole, pasta recipe

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