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Stuffed Pasta Shells With Meatballs

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Pasta Shells Stuffed with flavorful creamy cheese and topped with a delicious slow cooker meatballs and sauce. 

I’m super excited to share this recipe with ya! Last week I made one of my all-time favorite recipes. My Slow Cooker Meatballs with sauce. (You can find that recipe by clicking HERE.) 

Stuffed pasta shells with cheese and marinara sauce and meat balls

I did so intentionally, knowing I could get two different meals out of one recipe of my slow cooker meatballs. It worked perfectly! I think that’s one reason I’m so excited to share it with you. Who doesn’t love easy week night dinners?

One night we had spaghetti and meatballs. A few nights later I made these deliciously cheesy stuffed pasta shells with meatballs and sauce. They were to die for! (Well…maybe you wouldn’t really want to die…but you’d seriously want to take someone out for a couple of them!)  😉 lol

This recipe goes together super quick, and it’s super easy!!! Another big perk of this meal! Honestly the BEST stuffed shells ever! I’d never made them with the meatballs and sauce before, and I’m so glad I did, and so sad I waited so long to try it.

How To Make Stuffed Pasta Shells with Meatballs and Sauce

First things first. You need to make a batch of slow cooker meatballs. Just be prepared for your house to smell Aaaaa-mazing! (Like drool worthy smells all day long!)

Next in a bowl mix together 2 cups of ricotta cheese, 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup chopped spinach (this is optional), chopped parsley or dried parsley flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper.

Why the egg? The egg is “binding”….helps hold it all together! Just a little cooking knowledge for those who don’t understand why we add an egg to a cheese mixture.

Ricotta Cheese, eggs, and grated cheese in a bowl for shell filling

Mix it all together until well blended. Set aside.

In a large pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add large shell pasta noodles, about 16-20, and cook until al dente. Rinse and drain.

*Tip: Follow cooking instructions on the box. You will end up with perfectly cooked pasta.

Adding spinach to filling for shells

Stuff your shells with the cheese mixture. I find a large tablespoon or soup spoon works best. Holding a pasta shell in one hand gently hold it open and stuff with the cheese mixture.

Place stuffed shell in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Be sure to place them cheese side up.

Continue stuffing shells until you have used all the cheese mixture. You should have enough filling to make between 16-20 stuff shells.

Filling the shells for the Meatballs and sauce with stuffed shells

Gently spoon the sauce over the stuffed shells. Using a large spoon tuck the meatballs in the gaps between the stuffed shells.

Look at that beautiful deep rich red sauce! It is perfect with these stuffed shells. Just one more thing.

Sauce with meatballs over stuffed shells

Top with more mozzarella cheese!

Can we ever have too much cheese my friends? NO! No we can’t!

Topping shells and sauce and meatballs with grated cheese.

Once you have your shells stuffed, covered in sauce and meatballs, and blanketed with more cheese…it’s time to throw those babies in the oven!

Bake in a 350° oven uncovered for 35–40 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Stuffed shells with sauce and meatballs baked to perfection

Gently scoop out the number of shells you’d like… grab a few meatballs to go with them… and dinner is served!

Meatballs and sauce with stuffed shells

The rich robust flavor of the sauce, with the delicious tender Parmesan meatballs, added to the luscious cheese stuffed shells… equals one perfect Italian dinning experience.

These are incredible! I think the perfection of this dish comes down to two things…the sauce and the filling inside the shells. It’s just a flavor marriage made in heaven!

Start your week out right with this easy “two for one” recipe! As Moms and busy working ladies we love when we can simplify life! Make the meatballs for either spaghetti and meatballs, or meatball subs one night, then do the stuff shells another night!

I had enough meatballs and sauce to make two 9 x 13 pans. I doubled the stuffing mix and used one full box of shells.

Then I shared a pan with my daughter who wasn’t feeling well. It’s a great recipe to share with a friend or neighbor.

Favorite Pasta Recipes

Hope you enjoyed this recipe share as much I have enjoyed sharing it with you! It’s going to be another fantastic week here at Norine’s Nest, so I hope you’ll stop by again and check out the other wonderful recipes I have coming your way! Until then…have a great day, and thanks for visiting!!!

Love from my Nest to Yours!

Norines Photo and signature
Yield: 8-10 servings

Stuffed Pasta Shells With Meatballs

Stuffed shells topped with meatballs and sauce

Combine Crock Pot Meatballs & Sauce with these delicious stuff pasta shells for one amazingly easy weeknight dinner!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley or 1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped thawed frozen, drained, spinach (Optional)
  • 16-20 cooked pasta shells, al dente
  • 1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce OR 1/2 recipe of Norine's Nest Slow Cooker Meatballs With Sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese for topping.


  1. In a large pot bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Cook 16-20 pasta shells al dente. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the grated mozzarella, ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Gently stuff pasta shells one at a time with one large heaping Tablespoon of cheese mixture.
  4. Place in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, cheese side up.
  5. Spoon sauce over stuffed shells. Gently tuck meatballs in and around pasta shells.
  6. Sprinkle with 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese.
  7. Place in a pre-heated 350 ° oven, uncovered, and bake for 35-45 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Nutrition Information:


10 servings

Serving Size:

2 stuffed shells

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 683mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g

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Aimee @ ShugarySweets

Friday 10th of February 2017

I love making homemade meatballs and keeping them frozen until ready to use. LOVE that you added them to this pasta shells recipe!!!

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Friday 10th of February 2017

Hi Aimee! I love the idea of making the meatballs in advance and then freezing them. It would make the crock pot meatballs even easier. Thank you for the helpful tip! I'm going to try that next time. I've said it're the BEST! ;) Thanks for stopping by...ya made my day!

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