Easy recipes with 5 ingredients or less: Stuffed Shells

By Sarah Fischer

When it comes to cooking an easy and delicious pasta recipe with a short ingredients list, this cheesy stuffed shells recipe is perfect. This versatile dish is sure to be a hit at parties and can be made many different ways, and it only requires five ingredients so it’s great for the average budget-conscious family.

Stuffed Shells

Start to finish: 40 to 50 minutes

Servings: 2 to 4 people



Jumbo pasta shells

Shredded Italian cheese

Marinara sauce

1 egg

Ground turkey*

*Ground turkey is a healthier alternative, but ground beef also works well with this recipe.


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, take 24 jumbo pasta shells and cook them according to the directions from the package (about 10 minutes). As soon as you put the noodles in, begin browning the turkey in a pan over medium heat.

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2. After the meat is browned, let it cool slightly before placing it in a mixing bowl. Add one egg, a handful of Italian cheese and a small amount of marinara sauce into the bowl and mix it together evenly. This will be the filling for the shells.

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3. Pour 2 cups of marinara sauce into a separate bowl and mix a little water with it until it’s a smooth consistency. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread the sauce to cover the bottom. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, you don’t have to mix it with water.

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


4. Once the noodles are drained, begin stuffing them with the filling and layer them in the baking dish. Cover the stuffed shells with a layer of sauce.

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star


5. Place into the oven and cook for 40 minutes. After it’s finished, remove the dish and spread another large handful of Italian cheese over the top and put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and it’s ready to eat!

Sarah Fischer/Northern Star