Tomato and Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

Pasta finished

This is a recipe without quantities, mostly because I didn’t keep note of how much I used of things as I went along, but no precision is needed with quantity so just judge it, that’s what you do most days when you cook right?


– Some jumbo pasta shells (the ones that are at least a couple of inches long, uncooked)

– Some tomato sauce (use your usual recipe for tomato pasta sauce, or if you don’t have a usual recipe, just knock one together with canned tomatoes, tomato puree, water if needed, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, bit of sugar if you want to take the edge off the sourness. Simmer till you’re happy with it).

– Some ricotta cheese.

– Some mozzarella cheese (I like the soft kind that comes in balls packed in water for this recipe).

– Some cheddar cheese.

– Herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.


1. Prep your tomato sauce and let it simmer for a good long time until it’s lovely and rich (I sometimes add some butter in to make it even richer, but ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone, especially not Carrie).

2. Cook your pasta shells in boiling salted water until they are al dente – don’t overcook them because they need to be able to hold their shape.

3. While the shells are cooking, mix the ricotta with herbs, salt and pepper.

4. Drain the pasta in a colander and pour some freshly boiled water over it to rinse off the starch, followed by cold water to cool them down. Doing this will stop the shells sticking together and make them easier to work with.

5. Into each shell, place a teaspoon of tomato sauce followed by some herby ricotta mixture. This is quite fiddly, but you’ll get the knack of it after a few.

6. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce into the bottom of an oven dish, roughly about 1-2cm deep, no more.

7. Arrange the stuffed shells facing upwards in rows on top of the sauce.

8. Chop soft mozzarella into small pieces and scatter over the top.

9. Finely grate the cheddar and sprinkle over the top.

Pasta dish uncooked

10. Bake until it is bubbling and golden brown.

Pasta finished



18 responses to “Tomato and Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

  1. I was going to make spaghetti tonight, but ooh, I’m going to try this instead! Yum! And don’t worry–I’ll forgive you for the butter. After all that cheese, does it really matter? 😉 Now, off to the store for some pasta shells and mozzarella…

    (Thanks for the mention. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I love it when people say they’re going to try something I post! You’re right about the butter, it’s like when people go to a fast food joint and order a huge burger with fries and then have a diet coke with it (although one could argue they are still achieving something by not having the extra sugar!). No worries on the mention 🙂


      • I’ve printed the recipe out. I’ll come back tomorrow and comment on how it was received by my family. I have no doubt they’ll love it. What’s not to love?


          • The dish was a big success! Thank you! But I cheated a little. I put the sauce on the bottom of the dish, stuffed the shells with the cheese and placed them over the sauce, and then poured the rest of the sauce on top of them (instead of putting the sauce in each one). I got lazy. But really, really good!


            • Hurrah! Glad it was a success 🙂 It’s not cheating, it’s just adapting to suit your needs! It was making me smile today thinking about how something I put on my blog affected what a family had for dinner in another country!


            • I know, isn’t that amazing? And I told them where I got the recipe from. I still have to try that chocolately pudding type dessert you posted a while back. I have it printed out and in my kitchen folder!


            • I just realized I should’ve taken a picture of it for you before I served it. Maybe I’ll have to snap a pic of my leftovers. We’re having those tonight. 🙂


  2. My granddaughters love pasta. This will make a fabulous change in that department. These sound delish. Can’t wait but it will be a week next Thursday as this week’s menu is already set (by the girls). Thanks, Vanessa. 😛


      • Nah, I’m not organized. Can’t even go to the bathroom when I want to because I keep putting it off. “Just one more thing…and I’ll go.”
        I have family dinner every Thursday night and go upstairs for dinner every weekend. I still like to cook and the girls have fun fingering out what they’d like me to cook. 😛


  3. This dish simply shouts, “Comfort Food!” 😀 Do you have any idea how hard it is to read about this when my husband and I are in the midst of improving our eating and drinking habits???!!! Sigh. 😉


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