These easy cheesy beef stuffed shells use everyday ingredients and make a comforting family-friendly recipe. Beef and cream cheese stuffed shells are topped with cheddar and then baked in marinara sauce for an easy dinner.
This recipe is delicious for weeknights... or any night. It comes together without much effort, and it's also fairly inexpensive, so that's a bonus. I gotta say... ground beef is a dinner saver. And you can't beat the comfort of baked pasta with ground beef and melty cheese, right?
Recipe notes & tips:
- This recipe makes about 24 stuffed shells. I say "about" because it really depends on your baking dish and how many you're able to arrange in there. 😉 I used a 9x13 size one.
- When you're cooking the shells, it's a good idea to leave them a little undercooked since they will spend some time in the oven and you don't want them to get soggy.
- I prefer to grate my own cheddar - it melts better. I think 1.5 cups is enough, but you could definitely add a little more if you want it extra cheesy.
- I recommend boiling a couple extra shells in case some break when you're stuffing them.
- Use your favorite jarred marinara sauce or homemade (or even a different kind of tomato-based pasta sauce).
- To reheat these, the microwave will work, but if you keep the leftovers in the original baking dish, you can just cover it with foil and reheat in the oven (try 375F). You could quickly broil it again at the end if you wish.
What to serve with these stuffed shells?
Try Caesar salad (my Caesar dressing is quick and easy) or garlic bread.
There's just something special about baked pasta shells. It feels different from the everyday to me!
More delicious ground beef recipes to try:
- Simple Ground Beef Casserole
- Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers
- Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe
- Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Easy Creamy Beef and Shells
Questions about these beef stuffed jumbo shells? Let me know in the comments below and tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you've made one of my recipes.
Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells
- 2 dozen jumbo shells
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 8 ounces cream cheese (I used a block of Philly) softened
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Garnish (optional): fresh basil and/or chopped parsley
- Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to using or microwave it for 20-30 seconds to soften it up. Boil a large, salted pot of water for the shells. Cook them al dente according to package directions (make sure to undercook them a bit because they will be baked).
- Add the olive oil and onion to a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven. Spread the marinara sauce in an even layer on the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and ground beef to the skillet. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, breaking up the beef with your spoon as you go along (about 8 minutes). You shouldn't have to drain the fat if using lean ground beef, but if there is some, spoon out most of the excess fat.
- Once the beef is cooked, reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream cheese until it's incorporated. Give it a taste and season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Drain the shells and let them cool for a few minutes. Once they're cool enough to handle, use a small spoon (I used a teaspoon) to stuff the shells with the beef mixture. Add them to the baking dish as you go along.
- Once all the shells are stuffed, evenly sprinkle the cheddar over them. Bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until they're hot and the cheese has melted. I then broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese. Note: you can cover the baking dish with foil prior to baking if you wish. I like to have some crispy bits, but if you want it all to be softer, do that (take the foil off to broil, though).
- Serves 4-6 depending on how much people eat/what else you serve it with.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.