Pesto Stuffed Shells

My family loves the flavors of Italian food!

I found this recipe and it sounded absolutely wonderful and pretty simple to make.We had my sister over for dinner the other day and she said it was one of her favorite meals that she’s ever had!  

found recipe at: Budget Bytes

12 oz jumbo shell pasta
15 oz Ricotta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Basil Pesto
1 egg
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups pasta sauce

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, pesto and the egg (the egg keeps the filling from getting too runny when cooked). Roughly chop the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (boil for 12 min.). Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil to the boiling water to keep the shells from sticking to each other and the pot. You will still need to gently stir a few times during cooking. Be careful not to over cook the pasta or else it will rip easily and be too mushy after cooking with the filling and sauce. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta drain.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The shells roll up tight when they are cooked so use the fingers on one hand to hold them open as you spoon about 3 Tbsp of pesto cheese mix into the center of each. There should be enough pesto cheese mix to fill the shell so that it stays open just slightly (the edges should be about 1/2 inch apart). Fill as many shells as you can with the cheese mix.

Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish.  You want to pack them in tightly in a single layer. If you space them too far apart, they will dry out during the cooking process. Place all of the shells in the baking dish as close together as possible and pour the remaining 2 cups of sauce over top. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

Filed under: dinner, easy, italian, main-dish, pasta

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  1. Lindsay

    Yummy! I kind of have a soft spot for anything pasta. So yes, I think I would very much enjoy this! Thanks for the recipe, you always have th best sounding ones here!

  2. Madison

    We really enjoy pesto in our house so I'm sure this recipe would go over really well!

  3. Mindy

    Um yeah, this sounds delicious.

  4. robin

    Yum! We just had stuffed shells for dinner last night.

  5. Mikki

    This looks delish :) And simple ingredients...yay!Following back from Thanks for following!

  6. Free eBooks Daily

    Love your site! Can't wait to try the recipes! Following back from Free eBooks Daily . I look forward to reading your posts.

  7. the-spring-mount-6-pack

    Sounds so yummy. I have to bring my son to your site, he wants to grow up to be a chef.Thanks for following http://thespringmount6pack.comFOllowing you back

  8. Briana@SweetCGrace

    Thanks for the follow! Following back! These look fantastic! My husband is going to be very happy I'm following this blog! :)

  9. Marie

    I need you to come cook at my house :)

  10. June Scott

    This look great, Nikki! I love the idea of adding pesto to the cheese mixture!

  11. Sharon Lee

    FAIL The others can cheerlead this all they want., but It still is a FAIL
    This recipe is formated in the worst way possible. It is soooooooo difficult. Doesn't ID the sauce, everything runs together and there is NO CONTRAST to help read it. Its like light gray on lighter gray.

    1. Chef in Training

      Sorry. When I moved over to wordpress, all my recipes moved in a jumbled format. I am going back and editing all of them, it just takes time to go through 500+ recipes. I fixed the format of this one now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  12. jeanne peterson

    I put my filling in a large zip bag, seal, cut small hole in corner, and fill shells. I also add parmesan and mozzarella to mixture. I love the pesto idea! Thanks!