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Stuffed Shells with Meat

Stuffed Shells with Meat

Stuffed Shells with Meat - easy casserole dinner made with jumbo pasta shells, seasoned ground beef and sauce, spinach, and cheeses. It's warm, filling, cheesy and very comforting. Plus it's also a wonderful make-ahead dinner that the whole family would love!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken and pasta, ground beef, pasta, stuffed shells, stuffed shells with meat
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 shells
Calories 99kcal
Author Imma


  • 7-8 oz jumbo pasta shells , (about 14-16 shells)
  • ½ pound (227g) lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion , diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon (3.6g) Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon (1g) thyme , dried
  • 1 tablespoon (16g) tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cup (225g) spaghetti sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves (about 4-5 )
  • 2 cups (60g) fresh spinach , loosely packed
  • ½ cup (56.5g) mozzarella cheese , shredded
  • ½ cup (50g) parmesan cheese , shredded
  • 2 tablespoons (8 g) fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Cook pasta shells according to instructions on package.
  • While the shells are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and saute until evenly browned about 2-3 minutes. Add in the onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, tomato paste, ½ cup of spaghetti sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Saute for 2-3 minutes more, then add basil leaves, spinach and cook until wilted.
  • When the shells and the meat sauce are cooked, place shells face up into a large casserole dish, place 1 ½ tablespoon of meat into the opening of each shell.
  • Then spoon spaghetti sauce on top. Sprinkle a combination of mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and starts to slightly brown.
  • Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve warm.


  1. This recipe yields about 16 shells with a serving of 3-4 shells per person.
  2. You may replace ground beef with ground turkey, pork or chicken.
  3. To refrigerate, assemble in a casserole and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Then come dinner time,  pop it in the oven and bake as directed. 
  4. To freeze these stuffed shells, assemble and place them in a casserole dish and cover with a plastic wrap – pressing the wrap against the shells to remove as much air as possible. And after that, cover it again with an aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 
  5. When ready to bake, you may thaw frozen stuffed shells in the fridge overnight or bake the casserole (remove the plastic wrap and keep the foil) at 350°F for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the cheese on top.
  6. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Serving: 1shell | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 562IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mg