is a staple in our house. If it’s not in the fridge, there is a container of it in the freezer ready for another meal. We use Spaghetti Sauce for everything from Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce to Cabbage Rolls and even Baked Ziti Homemade Pizza. I use the Spaghetti Sauce every month in my Monthly Menus as it only costs about $8 to make, and you can get 3 or 4 meals from one batch! This recipe for 30 Minute Stuffed Shells is part of my December Menu and used leftover Spaghetti Sauce from earlier in the month.
Stuffed Shells are soooooo easy to make, and use the same “pot cheese” as in other recipes like Baked Ziti and Lasagna. Best of all, this recipe makes enough to either beed a family of 6-8 or a family of 4 TWO times! I made a full batch of this recipe, and got dinner with leftovers and then a whole other dinner worth that I froze four our first course at Thanksgiving Dinner. In our house, at Thanksgiving AND Christmas, there is always an Italian dish served before the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It’s an Italian Thanksgiving, and not much beats that!
These Stuffed Shells can be made ahead of time and froze in a single layer on a parchment baking sheet, or even froze in a casserole dish, ready to bake. Stuffed Shells are a great weeknight meal, or even a meal for a friend who just had a baby, or needs dinner one night. The recipe will get both of you dinner, and you won’t spend a fortune since you’re using leftover spaghetti sauce.
Extra leftover Stuffed Shells frozen for future meals
If you want, add some spinach into the pot cheese. It looks just like the parsley one you run it through the food processor – it adds a ton of extra nutrition and your kids won’t even know it’s in there. The spaghetti sauce and the cheese mask all of the flavors of the spinach, so add some and sneak veggies into yet another meal!
2 cups leftover Crcockpot Spaghetti Sauce
1, 12 oz box jumbo shells cooked according to package directions
32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
1 cup spinach, optional
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese – to top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot of salted water, cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Drain in a collendar and about 2″ of water to the pot you cooked pasta in. Place strainer over the pot beside your working area. This will keep the shells warm so that they don’t stick together.
While pasta is cooking, either finely chop parsley (and spinach) or run it through a food processor like I did to finely chop.
In a large bowl combine all cheese, eggs, spices and parsley (and spinach) and stir until well combined.
Add 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish – depending on how big it is. We used an 8×8 pan, but this recipe makes enough to fill a 9×13 pan WITH leftovers.
Fill each cooked shell with about 2 tbsp of the cheese filling and place in prepared casserole dish.
Top cheese stuffed shells with remaining spaghetti sauce, then top with shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble a little bit and the cheese is melted and starts to become golden-brown. Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes, and serve with any leftover spaghetti sauce, warmed up.
For the free printable version of this recipe, click the link below for a PDF version to add to your recipe box.
If you love these stuffed shells, try one of these other Italian recipes that use
Leftover Spaghetti Sauce.
Quite Possibly the ONLY Lasagna Recipe You’ll Ever Need!
Easy 30-Minute Three-Cheese Lasagna Rollups
Easy 30-Minute Mini-Spaghetti Pie Recipe