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Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce

Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce

What is the name of stuffed shell pasta?

The stuffed shell pasta dish is commonly known simply as “stuffed shells” or “jumbo stuffed shells” in English. In Italian, it is often referred to as “conchiglie ripiene,” where “conchiglie” translates to “shells” and “ripiene” means “stuffed.” The pasta used for stuffed shells is typically large conchiglie pasta, which resembles seashells and provides a perfect vessel for holding the savory fillings.

Stuffed shells are a popular Italian-American comfort food, featuring various fillings such as ricotta cheese, meat, spinach, or a combination of ingredients, all baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese for a satisfying meal.

What do you eat stuffed shells with?

Stuffed shells pair well with a variety of accompaniments, offering a hearty and satisfying meal. They’re commonly served with a side salad featuring crisp greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy vinaigrette to balance the richness of the shells. Garlic bread or crusty Italian bread makes a delicious addition, ideal for sopping up any remaining sauce.

For a complete Italian feast, consider serving stuffed shells alongside roasted vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, or bell peppers. Additionally, a glass of red wine like Chianti or Sangiovese complements the flavors of the dish, enhancing the dining experience with its fruity and robust notes.

How do you keep pasta shells from sticking together?

To prevent pasta shells from sticking together, follow a few simple steps. First, ensure you use a large pot of generously salted boiling water to cook the shells. Stir the shells immediately after adding them to the water and periodically throughout the cooking process to prevent clumping. Cooking the shells until they are al dente, with a slight bite, helps reduce stickiness.

After draining the shells, rinse them briefly under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Finally, toss the shells with a little olive oil to coat them lightly, which further helps prevent sticking as they cool.

What’s the difference between stuffed shells and stuffed manicotti?

Stuffed shells and stuffed manicotti are both Italian pasta dishes featuring pasta tubes filled with savory ingredients. The primary difference lies in the pasta shape: stuffed shells are made with large pasta shells, while stuffed manicotti uses tubular pasta known as manicotti. Stuffed shells typically have a wider opening, making them easier to fill, whereas manicotti tubes are longer and narrower.

Despite the variation in shape, both dishes offer a versatile canvas for fillings such as cheese, meat, and vegetables, and they are often baked with sauce and cheese for a comforting and satisfying meal, albeit with a slightly different presentation.

how to make Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce

Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce

Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce

Stuffed shells offer a comforting and hearty meal, perfect for family dinners and gatherings with friends. While the classic rendition involves ricotta cheese and tomato sauce, this recipe introduces a delightful twist by omitting these ingredients. Instead, we focus on a rich, savory meat filling complemented by a flavorful sauce alternative. Here's how to make meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce, delivering a burst of Italian-inspired flavors.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Meat, Snack
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 pound large pasta shells
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


Preparing the Pasta Shells

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a large baking dish and set it aside.
  • Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside to cool.

Creating the Meat Filling

  • In a skillet, cook the ground beef or turkey over medium heat until it's browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet with the cooked meat. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Season the meat mixture with dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine the flavors. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Preparing the Cheese Mixture

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked meat mixture, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg. Mix until everything is well combined.

Stuffing the Pasta Shells

  • Stuff each cooked pasta shell with the meat and cheese mixture, filling them generously.
  • Place the stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

Making the Sauce Alternative

  • In a small bowl, mix together the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

Baking the Stuffed Shells

  • Pour the sauce alternative evenly over the stuffed shells.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese slightly.

Serving and Garnishing

  • Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.


Keyword meat stuffed shells recipe, Meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce, Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef, Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce


    CALORIES: 493
    PROTEIN: 34g
    SODIUM: 1033mg
    TRANS FAT: 1g
    SUGAR: 10g
    TOTAL FAT: 22g
    FIBER: 5g


    With its flavorful meat filling and a delectable sauce alternative, these meat stuffed shells without ricotta and tomato sauce offer a delightful twist on a classic Italian dish. Whether for a cozy family dinner or entertaining guests, this recipe promises to satisfy taste buds and bring smiles around the table. Enjoy the rich flavors and comforting textures of these meat stuffed shells, perfect for any occasion!

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