Million Dollar Stuffed Shells

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Million Dollar Stuffed Shells

Million Dollar Stuffed Shells - hands down the BEST stuffed shells EVER! Jumbo shells stuffed with cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, and mozzarella cheese. Bake in a quick meat sauce made with Italian sauce and jarred spaghetti sauce. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later. #pasta #casserole #italian #freezermeal
scooping baked stuffed shells from baking dish

The BEST Baked Stuffed Shells

A few months ago Olive Garden was advertising their new Jumbo Stuffed Shells. They looked SO good. I couldn't stop thinking about them, so I whipped up a batch of these Million Dollar Stuffed Shells at home. OMG! These stuffed shells are SO good! We ate these for lunch and leftover the rest of the week. They were equally delicious reheated.



stuffed shells in baking dish before going in the oven

How to Make Stuffed Shells

These Million Dollar Stuffed Shells are very easy to make. Start with boiling the noodles. While the noodles are cooking, brown some Italian sausage or ground beef. Combine the meat with a jar of spaghetti sauce and spread into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.

The stuffing for the shells is a combination of cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Stuff the cheese mixture into the cooked shells and place on top of the sauce. Pop the casserole in the oven and you are done! Garnish the baked stuffed shells with some fresh basil, if desired.

I reserved a little meat sauce to spoon on top of the shells. I like the way it looks. Feel free to spread half the sauce in the pan and the other half on top of the shells before baking. You can even put all the sauce on top of the shells if you prefer.

Feel free to swap the Italian sausage for ground beef, ground turkey, or turkey sausage. You can also leave out the meat if you want a vegetarian dish.

Can I Make Million Dollar Stuffed Shells in Advance?

Yes! You can assemble the Million Dollar Stuffed Shells in advance and refrigerate a day or two before baking. If baking this dish after refrigerating, you may need to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.

Can I Freeze Million Dollar Stuffed Shells?

Absolutely! I love to freeze these Million Dollar Shells. I prefer to freeze the casserole unbaked. I will sometimes split the shells into two pans and bake one and freeze one for later. To bake the Stuffed Shells after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed below. You can also freeze the leftovers. To reheat the already baked shells, thaw completely and either cover and reheat in the oven or pop them in the microwave.



photo of three jarred spaghetti sauces

What is the Best Jarred Spaghetti Sauce?

I get a lot of questions about what is my favorite jarred spaghetti sauce to use in dishes like this. Here are my top three - Rao's, Fa Famiglia Del Grosso, and Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Marinara. All three taste great and taste pretty close to homemade. Do you have a different favorite sauce? Let me know what it is in the comments!

baked stuffed shells in baking dish

What to Serve with Baked Stuffed Shells

As I said, we absolutely LOVED these Million Dollar Stuffed Shells! The flavor was perfect! I can not wait to make these again! They are great for a crowd and so easy to make. We love to serve these stuffed shells with a salad and some garlic bread. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with these Million Dollar Stuffed Shells:







baked stuffed shells in baking dish
collage of two photos of baked stuffed shells
stuffed shells in the baking dish
baked stuffed shells in a baking dish
baked stuffed shells in a baking dish
scooping stuffed shells from baking dish
scooping stuffed shells from baking dish


quick, easy, simple, pasta, sausage, olive garden, cottage cheese, freezer meal, make-ahead, kid-friendly, vegetarian
Entree
Italain
Yield: serves 6 to 8

Million Dollar Stuffed Shells

prep time: 15 minscook time: 30 mins total time: 45 mins
Million Dollar Stuffed Shells - hands down the BEST stuffed shells EVER! Jumbo shells stuffed with cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, and mozzarella cheese. Bake in a quick meat sauce made with Italian sauce and jarred spaghetti sauce. Can make in advance and refrigerate or freeze for later. #pasta #casserole #italian #freezermeal

ingredients:

  • 21 jumbo shells
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (24 to 26-oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1-1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 4-oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook Italian sausage until no longer pink and crumbled. Drain fat. Stir spaghetti sauce into the skillet. Pour meat sauce into prepared pan, reserving 1/2 cup for later.
  4. Combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, and parsley.
  5. Stuff pasta shells with cheese mixture. Place on top of meat sauce. Spread reserved sauce on top of stuffed shells.
  6. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes.

NOTES:

Can use ground beef or ground turkey instead of Italian Sausage. 
Can omit sausage if you want a vegetarian dish. 
Can substitute ricotta cheese for cottage cheese.
Can freeze casserole and bake later. Prepare through step 5. Cover with foil and freeze. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed as above.



MORE PASTA CASSEROLES:
Overnight Chicken Tetrazzini
Million Dollar Ravioli Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage & Spinach
Taco Spaghetti
Crack Chicken Spaghetti

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS:
Deep Dish 9x13-inch Baking Pan
Non-Stick Skillet
Flexible Measuring Cups

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6 comments

  1. You have to try Victoria's It's as close to homemade as you get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just added it to my grocery order for next week. Can't wait to try it!

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    2. I completely agree. Won't use anything else but Victoria!!!

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    3. Victoria is the way to go. Absolutely delicious with a homemade taste. So versatile

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  2. My rural store just started carrying Rao's. Will have to try!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never heard of Victoria's. The closest to the taste of my homemade sauce is Bertolli olive oil and garlic.

    ReplyDelete