fbpx Skip to Content

Sausage Stuffed Shells Recipe

Sausage Stuffed Shells Recipe


20–22 jumbo shells (12–14 ounce box)
24 ounces marinara
14–16 ounces ground sweet or hot italian sausage (or ground beef)
2 cups (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
2–3 garlic cloves, minced
6–7 basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta shells al dense, strain, and rinse with cool water.
Meanwhile, in a cast-iron skillet, cook sausage until fully cooked through and browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use the tip of a spatula to break the sausage into the smallest chunks possible. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove pan from the heat.

Transfer the sausage to a medium bowl with ricotta, basil. garlic, parmesan cheese, and egg. Stir until fully incorporated and creamy.
Place 1 cup of marinara in the bottom of the same skillet. Fill each shell to the top with ricotta filling using a spoon. Arrange in the skillet as tightly as possible. I was able to fit about 22 shells in a 12 inch cast iron skillet.
Top each shell with a heaping teaspoon of marinara. Layer the entire dish with about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella (more is OK too).
Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is fully melted and golden. You can finish with a quick broil to give the cheese a little sear if desired. Let cool 5 minutes, top with extra chopped basil and serve.
If making a larger quantity of shells, you can bake in a larger baking dish instead. You will need to scale the ricotta filling as it’s enough for roughly 20-22 shells.