Italian Baked Stuffed Shells

These Italian Baked Stuffed Shells pack so much flavor, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Baked stuffed shells
Baked stuffed shells


This is Italian cuisine at its best.   Just make and enjoy.


Italian chicken sausage from the casing
Italian chicken sausage from the casing
Herbs for the stuffed shells
Herbs for the stuffed shells
stuffed shells cooked filling
Stuffed shells cooked filling

stuffed shells chicken from casing

Stuffed shells delicious filling!
Stuffed shells delicious filling!
Baked stuffed shells

Italian Baked Stuffed Shells

These are amazing Italian baked stuffed shells. Pure Italian flavor!
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Course: Italian Baked Stuffed Shells
Cuisine: Itlaian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 395kcal


  • 16 jumbo shells dried
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup celery chopped
  • 12 chicken Italian sausage casing removed
  • 1 small green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp flat-leafed parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz fresh Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus a couple tablespoons of grated Romano cheese
  • 2 1/2 oz smoked mozzarella cheese chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese chopped
  • 3 cups or marinara sauce
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter chopped


  • In a pot of boiling lightly salted water set over high heat, cook the pasta shells for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse under cool running water.
  • Transfer the drained shells to bowl, toss them with a teaspoon of olive oil, and refrigerate them until they are needed.
  • In a large saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
  • When the oil is nice and hot, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for about 20 seconds.
  • Add the celery, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, or until the celery is tender.
  • Add the chicken sausage and the green peppers and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the parsley and basil and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a bowl.
  • Mix the ricotta with the egg until it is smooth.
  • Add 1/2 cup cup of the grated Romano cheese, the mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 F
  • Spread about 2 cups of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow casserole.
  • Take the shells, sausage mixture, and cheese mixture out of the refrigerator. Carefully fold in the cheese mixture into the sausage mixture.
  • Using a teaspoon, fill the shells with as much stuffing as you can, about 1/4 cup.
  • Place the shells, stuffed side up, on the sauce.
  • Ladle the remaining cup of sauce over the shells.
  • Sprinkle the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the grated Romano cheese and dot with butter.
  • Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake the shells for about 12 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the tops of the shells are slightly browned.
  • Serve the shell with remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese on the side.


Calories: 395kcal
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  • Kris, how lovely of you to write such a warm response! Thanks for the clarification and for updating the recipe. In transit in Korea now heading back to NY with my partner Kate for a summer holiday in VT. We live in Japan. Can’t wait to be on holiday to have more time to peruse your fabulous site… and to
    COOK! The recipes I’ve looked at look divine and the pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for doing what you do! Where do you guys live? We are wondering where to retire, and we want to be your neighbors!! (Promise not to stalk… )

    • Hi Lyn!! Have an amazing time in Korea! (We are jealous!) We just moved from the Princeton, NJ area back to where I (Kris) grew up to be near family in the Dallas, TX area. We miss the NE, but love where we are and being near family. Come be our neighbors! We’d keep you well fed!! 🙂 xo

  • (Just found your site today, looking for tamale recipes. I love you guys already!)

    This looks outrageous! Do you mix the sausage stuffing with the cheese stuffing at some point, or spoon them in separately?

    • Hi Lyn!! Thank you so much!! We are so glad you found us and we found YOU!! 🙂 That’s a great question, and the recipe doesn’t explain that clearly. Yes, after you’ve let the sausage mixture and the cheese mixture rest in the fridge, pull them both out and gently fold the cheese mixture into the sausage mixture…this now is the stuffing. Thanks for bringing that to our attention…I’ve updated the recipe so that’s clear. Stay in touch!! Best, Kris & Wesley

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