Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells

Here’s the full recipe for Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells:


  • 1 box of giant pasta shells
  • 1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra for topping


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain them and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef or Italian sausage until fully cooked. Drain any excess grease, then add the pasta sauce to the skillet. Stir well to combine, then remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  5. Take each cooked pasta shell and spoon a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture into it, spreading it evenly along the inside. Add a small handful of shredded mozzarella cheese into each shell on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Next, fill each stuffed shell with the meat mixture, dividing it evenly among them. Top each shell with additional shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Arrange the stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  9. Once done, remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to lightly brown the cheese on top.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the stuffed shells cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious giant stuffed pasta shells!

Sure, here are some popular questions and their answers related to Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells:

  1. Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe? Absolutely! You can use ground turkey, chicken, or even a vegetarian meat alternative like tofu or lentils.
  2. Can I prepare these stuffed shells in advance? Yes, you can assemble the stuffed shells ahead of time and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake. Just be sure to cover them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent drying out.
  3. Can I freeze leftover stuffed shells? Yes, you can freeze leftover stuffed shells for future meals. Once they’re cooled completely, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before placing them in the freezer. They should last for up to 2-3 months.
  4. What can I serve with these stuffed shells? These stuffed shells are delicious on their own but pair well with a side salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
  5. Can I customize the filling for these stuffed shells? Absolutely! Feel free to add additional ingredients to the filling such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, or different types of cheese to suit your taste preferences.
  6. How can I make this recipe vegetarian? To make this recipe vegetarian, simply omit the ground meat and double up on the cheese or add your favorite meat substitute like crumbled tofu or vegetarian sausage.
  7. Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe? While the recipe calls for giant pasta shells, you can certainly use other types of pasta such as manicotti tubes or large rigatoni if you prefer.
  8. How do I know when the stuffed shells are done baking? The stuffed shells are done baking when the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges are lightly golden brown. You can also insert a knife into the center of one of the shells to check if the filling is heated through.
  9. Can I add extra sauce on top of the stuffed shells before baking? Yes, if you prefer a saucier dish, you can pour additional pasta sauce over the stuffed shells before baking. Just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly to prevent the dish from becoming too watery.
  10. How do I reheat leftover stuffed shells? To reheat leftover stuffed shells, you can either microwave them individually for a few minutes or place them in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake in the oven at 350°F until heated through