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finished ricotta stuffed shells dish in a white baking dish on a table with tomatoes and flowers.

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells can seem like a lot of work, but it's actually really easy! Try this stuffed shells recipe with video and enjoy a delicious, tasty homemade ricotta stuffed shells your whole family will love. This is comfort food like no other! Plus you can make it ahead of time and it's freezer friendly!

Course casserole, Main Course, Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword casserole dishes, pasta recipe, ricotta stuffed shels, stuffed shells, stuffed shells recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 886 kcal
Author Mahy


  • 12 ounces Jumbo Stuffed Shells

Ricotta Filling

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp homemade basil pesto
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cream Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups cream 18% at least
  • parmesan rind optional

Additional Ingredient

  • 1 up marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8-12 cherry tomatoes


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375º

  2. Cook the shells according to the package instructions, to al dente. Drain.

    Ingredients for ricotta stuffed shells including pasta, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, spices, tomatoes, salt.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the cream sauce in a saucepan and heat through.

    A pan with the cream bubbling and ready
  4. Place the cream sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.

  5. Place the cooked shells on top of the cream sauce.

  6. For the ricotta mixture: mix everything in a single bowl

    ricotta mixture in a bowl.
  7. Scoop filling into a spoon, and push it into each shell with your finger.

    large shells with ricotta mixture stuffed inside all layered on a white baking dish.
  8. Top this with cherry tomatoes and drizzled marinara sauce.

    Layered ingredients for stuffed ricotta shells including pasta, tomatoes, sauce and cheese in a white dish.
  9. Cover with mozzarella and parmesan.

  10. Place little scoops of the basil pesto on top of the cheese.

    Layered Ingredients for Ricotta Stuffed Shells
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes covered.

  12. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or broil for 2-3 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes


  • I like to use a hand mixer to make the ricotta filling. This will ensure that the flavors are thoroughly blended plus it makes the job easier.
  • A high-quality marinara sauce makes a huge difference! Look for a marinara that's not too sweet, and not too acidic. I like a simple marinara made with just tomatoes, basil, garlic, and wine. Whenever I make this dish with the cheaper sauces I can definitely tell the difference.
  • Follow the package directions on your pasta to make perfect al dente pasta. Al dente is Italian for "to the tooth" and means that the pasta is still slightly chewy. To some, this makes it seem undercooked. It's actually really important to pre-cook your pasta to just al dente in this recipe because it will continue cooking in the oven and you don't want it to get too mushy during the baking process. 
Nutrition Facts
Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 886 Calories from Fat 549
% Daily Value*
Fat 61g94%
Saturated Fat 35g219%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 194mg65%
Sodium 1075mg47%
Potassium 505mg14%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 2567IU51%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 637mg64%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.