Meat & Cheese Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

This past Valentine’s Day I wanted to make something special for dinner for my husband. Typically, I make Raspberry Chicken for our Valentine Dinner, but I had recently made that. I needed to figure something else out.

Stuffed Shells is THE dish my husband asks for on his birthday. However, his birthday is just a couple days after Christmas and we usually have a lot going on with family being in town. So the last few years we have gone out for dinner on his birthday, and the stuffed shells never got made.

This year I decided that Stuffed Shells would be the perfect Valentine’s dinner. And it was.ย My husband was so appreciative I took the time to make this meal for him.

We love this recipe for two reasons. First, it has meat. Most (if not all) stuffed shell recipes I see are filled with ricotta cheese. Which brings me to the second reason. I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta.

I know, I know. Don’t hate me all you ricotta cheese lovers. It’s just not our favorite. And actually my husband really doesn’t like it. The cottage cheese just brings a nice, creamy texture to the dish though. So don’t knock it until you try it!

photo (1)

(And for all you dairy-free people, simply omit the cheese all together and add a little sauce to the meat).

Meat & Cheese Stuffed Shells

  • 12 oz box of Jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 24 oz jars of spaghetti sauce
  • salt and pepper


  1. On the stove, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add jumbo shells and cook for about 8 minutes until shells are tender. Drain water. I then like to rinse shells in cold water to keep them from sticking and make them cool enough to handle.
  2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and italian sausage until no longer pink in the middle.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 cups spaghetti sauce, 2 cups of cottage cheese and browned meat. Mix until fully blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread 1 cups of spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture. Be sure not to overstuff them. Spoon 2 cups of tomato sauce over the stuffed shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until the shells are heated through and cheese is a bubbling golden brown. Serve with extra spaghetti sauce.

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29 Responses to Meat & Cheese Stuffed Shells

  1. Cheryl Smith says:

    Wow! These look SO wonderful! I can’t wait to try them. Thanks so much for sharing. So happy I found you on the link-up. God bless you and your sweet family. Love, Cheryl

  2. Oh I dislike ricotta with a passion! I do love cottage cheese though! ๐Ÿ˜€ These look so wonderfully tasty. My mom used to make ricotta shells when I was little…just ricotta and tomato sauce drizzled on top…maybe that’s why I don’t like ricotta.

  3. This looks delicious! I have all the ingredients ready to make your raspberry chicken next week! Thanks so much for sharing your great recipes at Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop!

  4. G’day and YUM! LOVE stuffed shells and have very fond childhood memories of!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of the Foodie Friends Friday Potato Lovers Party!

  5. Stephanie says:

    These look really good! Although I would use ricotta cheese in mine because I can’t take the texture of cottage cheese. But I agree with wanting shells that aren’t stuffed full of cheese. That just never appealed to me. Pinned this so I could make it later. Found you through The Pin It Party ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Retreat, Hope to see you back on Thursday.

  7. heidi says:

    This looks so fantastic! I want to eat them now! Visiting from Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party

  8. Christie…these look delish! And so easy to prepare. Plus, I love my Italian foods using cottage cheese instead of ricotta so this is up my alley. Thank you for sharing at WJIM’s Monday’s Musings. Have a great week.

  9. Betty Taylor says:

    Looks so wonderful! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Four Seasons Blog Hop. Pinning it!

  10. lisa says:

    Those look awesome! I will add those to the rotation, as my husband calls it. Coming by from 733.

  11. Crystelle says:

    This sounds so yummy and looks fancy too!!
    I bet my family would love these….
    xx Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  12. This sounds delicious! I bet my hubby would like this too.

  13. Nina says:

    These look yummy! My girls love pasta so this would be great fun for them . . . . something new and different. Thanks for sharing and linking up with the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner. Hope to see you again next week! Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

  14. G’day and SO yum!
    Thanks for including our link in your linky parties!
    Thanks for sharing! Viewed as part of Foodie Friends Friday Nothing But Noodles Pasta Party!
    Cheers! Joanne

  15. cathy says:

    this looks so delicious..I love the meat and cheese inside…I have never done it that way but I like the flavor and heartiness that it would bring!
    Checking this recipe out from the answer is choco link party ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Yum! My boys love stuffed shells, so I can’t wait to try this new recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Miz Helen says:

    Your Meat and Cheese Stuffed Shells look fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  18. Nothing better than stuffed pasta shells, we love any kind of stuffed shells in my house! Thanks for sharing your delicious stuffed shells with us on Four Seasons Blog Hop~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  19. You got me! Love love love stuffed shells! Hope to nibble with your more ๐Ÿ™‚ Warmest, Nic

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