clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
stuffed shells with sausage

Stuffed Shells with Sausage

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


Ultra saucy stuffed shells with Italian chicken sausage, marinara, ricotta, and cheese. This is a family-favorite recipe that everyone loves!


  • 8 oz. dry jumbo shells, about 28 shells
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. chicken sweet Italian sausage, or turkey, removed from casing
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 (32 oz.) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  1. Cook shells in salted water according to package directions until pliable but just shy of al dente, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often so they don’t stick to the pot. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside over a colander to drain further.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned and crumbled, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in onions, Italian seasoning, and red chili flakes. Cook until the onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add marinara sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce over the bottom of the 9 X 13 baking pan. Fill each shell with a heaping spoonful (about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons) of the meat sauce and place it snuggly in the pan. Spoon any remaining meat sauce around the shells.
  7. Top with dollops of ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley before serving.


  • Shells: Cook 2-3 extra shells just in case some rip and break apart.
  • Leftovers: Leftover shells will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for several months.

Keywords: easy stuffed shells, shells with meat sauce, kid friendly