Pull-Apart Stuffed Shells

Pull-Apart Stuffed Shells

Pull-Apart Stuffed Shells
Pull-Apart Stuffed Shells
This image courtesy of recipelion.com

This easy stuffed pasta shell recipe is one of our favorites, and while it's perfect for a game day appetizer, we are happy to treat our guests to it anytime of the year. This is one of those fun party food appetizers because it's easy as 1-2-3 to make, and since it's a pull-apart recipe, it's even easier to serve. 

Enjoy giant stuffed pasta shells with a creamy 3-cheese and herb filling, baked with crispy panko breadcrumbs and marinara sauce, and then topped off with grated Parmesan and fresh, shredded basil. Who doesn't want to be Italian for a day when this dish is on the menu? 

Preparation Time25 min

Cooking Time20 min

Difficulty LevelEasy

Kid FriendlyYes


  • 1 (12-ounce) package Jumbo pasta shells, cooked
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons for garnish


  1. Lightly grease a 10-inch round baking dish, and your heat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to fill.

  3. While the pasta shells are cooking, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

  4. Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of the filling.

  5. In a round baking dish pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Place the shells cheese side up around the baking dish in a spiral pattern.

  6. Pour ½ of the remaining marinara between the shells and top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese.

  7. In a small bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, and olive oil and mix well.

  8. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the stuffed shells.

  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top and cheese is bubbling.

  10. Add the chopped basil. Let cool, and enjoy!

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It has never dawned on me to have stuffed shells as an appetizer...but what a great idea and now that I think of it, can you imagine all of the different ways these can be made for any occasion? I love this idea! You know...I bet this would even be great for a quick snack or lunch served cold and stuffed with tuna salad too.

I'm a huge fan of stuffed pasta shells, so I was really looking forward to trying this recipe! The Italian flavors were incredible in this dish, so I highly recommend this dish for anyone who loves Italian food!

These shells were amazing! Tons of cheese and a great mix of Italian flavors made this a must-keep recipe. But, since there is marinara sauce involved, I suggest eating with a fork instead of your hands if you are wearing a light-colored top!

These have that perfect balance of cheese and spice that makes them truly exceptional. Eating them was pleasurable beyond compare, like having a transcental experience where, if only for a second, you're able to look inward and witness that divine, true self. Make these shells and know the flavors of universal one-ness.


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