Stuffed & Baked Pasta Shells


Stuffed Pasta Shells are a great family favorite & a soul satisfying comfort food. I love the idea of stuffed bakes or stuffed pan fried meals…

Today’s post is so simple but looks very intricate & elaborate. Anyone would feel that you really have to slog over it but the fact is that it requires hardly any planning! You can actually prepare your own special & unique filling or even use leftovers to convert this wonderful dish. I made this into a vegetarian bake but you could use mince meat, sausage meat or seafood if you so prefer.

This meal is so tasty & healthy… the combination of cheese & fresh green spinach in pasta shells is so flavorful & divine. It is a superb one pot meal & excellent at a pot luck… or even at brunch / dinner with crusty bread.

This casserole will steal the show at any party as the vibrant colors… red marinara sauce, green spinach, white shells & cheese  will attract & impress your guests! You can use any combination of cheese & vegetables of your choice. Besides, the sauce is delightfully tangy & yummy…  So enjoy this lovely casserole piping hot just the way we do… 😀


  • 1 packet Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 2 cups fresh Spinach Leaves(picked, washed & roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups Homemade Marinara Sauce or store bought
  • 3 tsps. Italian Seasonings (mixed dried or fresh herbs) or as per taste
  • ½ cup Bread Crumbs
  • ¾ cup Paneer (Cottage Cheese) crumbled
  • 1 cup each of Ricotta Cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup Mozarella Cheese(grated/shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese(grated)
  • A handful of Coriander/Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (peeled & finely minced)
  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic (finely minced)
  • 2 tbsps. Olive/Vegetable Oil
  • A pinch of Nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • Black or White Pepper pwd. to taste.
  • Salt to taste

Procedure :
In a sufficiently large pot, add enough water & let it come to a rolling boil.

Add salt & cook the pasta shells till al dente or as per packet instructions.

Drain out the water completely; toss & coat the pasta shells with some olive oil so that they do not stick to each other.

Make sure that each shell is separate.Let the pasta shells cool down.

In a sufficiently large bowl, combine  Paneer (Cottage cheese), Ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, some dried/fresh Italian herbs, parsley/coriander & mix until well blended.

In a large skillet, heat oil over med. heat; sauté onions until golden in color.

Add finely minced garlic & then the chopped spinach. Cook until just wilted.

Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste.

Cool the mixture & mix it along with the prepared cheese mixture.

Pour the marinara sauce into a baking dish.

Carefully fill each pasta shell with the cheese-spinach mixture.

Arrange the stuffed pasta shells with the filled side up in the prepared baking dish.

Pour more marinara sauce over stuffed shells evenly.

Cover tightly with aluminium foil & bake at 220C for about 30 mins.

Bring the baking dish out of the oven, take off the aluminium foil, sprinkle with Mozarella cheese & the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.

Put the baking dish with the stuffed pasta shells in the oven & bake uncovered for another 10 – 15 mins.

Serve hot with garlic bread or any of your favorite bread & salad.

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