These pizza stuffed shells are pasta shells filled with three kinds of cheese and pepperoni, then baked to perfection in tomato sauce. An easy make ahead dinner that the kids will love!
This fun and unique stuffed shells dish combines pizza and pasta for a hearty dinner option that’s family friendly and totally delicious. Serve your pasta shells with some garlic knots or a roasted veggie for a complete meal.
I am a huge fan of mixing two recipes together and turning them into one even more amazing recipe. These pizza stuffed shells are no disappointment and turned out even better than I imagined. They were a huge hit at the dinner table and I’m ready to make them again.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PIZZA STUFFED SHELLS?
Imagine all the best parts of pizza, stuffed inside pasta shells and baked to perfection. That’s exactly what these pizza stuffed shells are. The first step is to make the filling, which is a combination of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, along with mini pepperoni and seasonings.
I kept it simple with just pepperoni and cheese, but you can also add other pizza toppings like cooked sausage, olives, peppers, and mushrooms. The best part about this recipe is that it’s easily adjusted to match your pizza craving preferences. You can either use pizza sauce or marinara sauce to line the bottom of your baking dish; whichever you prefer.
To make pizza stuffed shells ahead of time, simply stuff the shells and place them in the tomato sauce, then cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Uncover, add the remaining toppings, then bake when you’re ready to eat. You’ll need to add more time in the oven if you’re starting with a cold dish of shells.
DO THE PASTA SHELLS NEED TO BE BOILED FIRST BEFORE BAKING?
Your pasta shells should be prepared based on package directions prior to the baking phase. If not, you will end up with some mighty tough shells to bite through. Be sure you follow the instructions as different brands cook for different lengths of time.
CAN THE PASTA SHELLS BE STORED IN THE FRIDGE?
If your shells haven’t been cooked, there’s no reason to store them in the fridge. However, if you have unstuffed, cooked pasta shells, these can be stored in a properly sealed dish for up to 3- 5 days. I suggest only doing this if necessary.
Pasta is one of my family’s favorite ingredients and of course, pizza is always a hit. My kids like to keep things basic, but these shells can be stuffed with a variety of fun ingredients. However you decide to make them, you will definitely enjoy them.
MORE PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Caprese Pasta
- Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken
Pizza Stuffed Shells
These pizza stuffed shells are pasta shells filled with three kinds of cheese and pepperoni, then baked to perfection in tomato sauce.
- 24 jumbo pasta shells cooked according to package directions
- 5 ounces mini pepperoni divided use
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese divided use
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups pizza sauce or marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray.
Spread the pizza sauce in an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
Place 1/2 the pepperoni, the ricotta cheese, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish.
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and pepperoni over the top of the shells.
Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Make ahead instructions. Fill the shells and place in the pan on top of the layer of pizza sauce. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and pepperoni. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pasta is heated through and cheese is melted.