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Vegetarian Skillet Italian Stuffed Shells

8 portions / Prep Time : 20 / Total Time : 50


  • 8 quarts water
  • 3 tbsp. salt
  • 12 oz. box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tsp. olive oil 1⁄2 onion, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 32 oz. full fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozarella
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 24 oz. pasta sauce
  • 6 oz. fresh spinach


  • 12 quart stockpot colander
  • plate
  • serrated utility knife cutting board cheese grater mixing bowls spatula
  • skillet / sauté pan cast iron skillet


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In large (12 quart) stockpot, fill with 8 quarts of water, 3 tbsp. salt, and bring to boil. Add pasta to boiling water for 10-12 minutes (cook according to package instructions).
  3. Once shells are cooked, spoon out a few at a time with slotted spoon into strainer over the sink or a plate to catch the water runoff (a lot water can get trapped in the shell). This avoids shells tearing, which can happen easily.
  4. While pasta cooks, coat sauté pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil and soften onion and garlic on medium-low heat until softened.
  5. Grate 2 cups fresh parmesan.
  6. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg then add ricotta and blend well. Add 1 cup parmesan, 1 cup shredded mozarella, and parsley. Mix well to blend.
  7. In skillet or roasting pan (a 12” or 14” cast iron skillet is perfect), coat bottom with a tiny bit of olive oil or pasta sauce (which has oil) to avoid pasta sticking to bottom.
  8. With a teaspoon and using your index finger and thumb to separate the shell, fill with heaping teaspoon of cheese mix, until shell stands partially open and cheese protudes out. You’ll use about 2-3 tsp. for each shell. Arrange in circular shape in pan.
  9. Pour pasta sauce over shells, making sure it fills the voids. Place spinach between each shell for garnish.
  10. Top with remainder of cheeses.
  11. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes, then turn to broil (550°) and brown cheese to bubbly for 2-3 minutes.

Vegetarian Skillet Italian Stuffed Shells

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