Cheesy Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef and Mushrooms recipe that my family always devours! These hearty stuffed shells use chopped mushrooms instead of doubling the ground beef to sneak in extra nutrition and make them cheaper. Ricotta and mozzarella are added to give them the classic homemade stuffed shells taste you love!
Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef and Mushrooms
Stuffed Shells give me comfort. What’s not to love about pasta filled with ricotta cheese, ground beef and mushrooms and then covered with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese? Is your mouth watering yet?
My family loves these stuffed shells for dinner. You can either make them and eat right away, or I often make them the day before and bake when I get home from work for a no fuss weeknight meal. We like it served with Italian bread or garlic knots, along with a vegetable like roasted broccoli or sautéed kale.
TIP for getting shells not to stick together: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water while boiling the shells. This prevents the shells from sticking to each other while cooking and after you drain them.
Save Money on Ground Beef
I came up with these stuffed shells in an attempt to use less ground beef for both cost and wanting to generally eat less meat.
Cost – Ground beef is expensive. By using only half a pound of ground beef we’re making that ground beef stretch longer for multiple meals. Use the other half to make potato ground beef casserole!
Mushrooms rule – seriously, they’re stacked with nutrition and they make an amazing meat replacement. When you finely mince them up, they blend right into the ground beef. My husband (a meat and potatoes Ohio boy) was shocked by how good these stuffed shells were with my tricky ways.
Even though we’re using a whole pack of mushrooms, they don’t taste super mushroomy (new word I invented). Even people who don’t love mushrooms can’t taste it. This is a recipe for everybody!
- Jumbo Shells – this uses a full box. So many stuffed shell recipes only call for half a box which drives me crazy, so we’re using up the whole box!
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces button mushrooms – we’re going to finely mince these up
- ricotta cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- marinara sauce – pick your favorite! we love rao’s marinara or love our homemade roma tomato sauce.
- pantry basics: minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper
What are the best types of mushrooms for this recipe?
I recommend white button or crimini mushrooms for stuffed shells. They both have a simple flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients.
How to Make Stuffed Shells
Cook shells in a large pot of salted water. Drain and set aside. Note: We are cooking the shells a little less time than the box says because we are going to bake them. This prevents them from going too soft once baked.
Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Add mushrooms with ground beef and keep cooking until mushrooms are soft. The mushrooms will release liquid while cooking, so drain off any extra liquid or fat.
Add ricotta, eggs, minced garlic and oregano into the skillet and mix to fully combine.
Grab a 9×13 baking dish and add 1 cup of marinara sauce to coat the bottom.
Using a spoon, add about 2 teaspoons of the beef/mushroom/ricotta mixture into each shell.
Fill shells until all the mixture is gone. This will make about 35-40 shells, close to a full box.
Pour remaining marinara sauce on top of the shells.
Now sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake until cheese melts and lightly browns. Serve and enjoy these delicious stuffed shells!
How to Store Leftovers and Reheat
Leftover stuffed shells will last 3-4 days in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator. When ready to reheat you can bake covered with aluminum foil at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated, or throw in the microwave until warmed up.
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Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef and Mushrooms (only half a pound ground beef)Print
- 12 ounce package jumbo pasta shells
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces button mushrooms finely minced
- 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in shells, cooking for 9 minute (we’re cooking them a little less than box time since we’re baking them in the oven next). Drain shells. Tip: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water while boiling the shells. This prevents the shells from sticking to each other.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until browned. Add mushrooms with ground beef and continue cooking until mushrooms are softened. During this time the mushrooms will release liquid. Once cooked, drain liquid and fat. Remove skillet from burner.
- Add ricotta cheese, eggs, minced garlic, oregano and salt and pepper into the skillet, mixing to fully combine the ingredients together.
- Add 1 cup of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, stirring around to fully coat.
- Using a spoon, add in about 2 teaspoons of ground beef/mushroom mixture into each shell. Place the shells in the baking dish.
- Spread remaining tomato sauce over the shells. Sprinkle the shells with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese melts and lightly browns. Serve and enjoy!