Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells are filled not only with three cheeses, but ground beef as well, making this the ideal light dinner or serve as an appetizer.
I love recipes which can be used for different meals. These Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells are ideal for a light dinner or to serve as an appetizer.
If you are like me, you also have way more dinner recipes than appetizers. I tend to stick to the same old appetizers over and over again, only with a new one thrown in every now and then.
Have to admit it is usually due to me being lazy looking for new appetizer ideas ! My main focus is just about always on the main meal and of course dessert.
The three cheeses used in this recipe are also all of our favorites. Add some ground Beef and you have a winner, whether served as a main meal or an appetizer.
Even though I normally make these Stuffed Pasta Shells (with a side salad or two) as a light dinner, I also serve them on a cooler day.
On a cooler day, I simply leave out the salads and instead serve two vegetable side dishes with the Pasta Shells.
When it comes to warm or cold weather, these Three Cheese Pasta Shells is perfect to serve as an appetizer. Piping hot with the cheese almost still bubbling during Winter and a little cooler during Summer !
The filling ingredients hold the Pasta Shells perfectly in shape and rarely ever leak out of the shells while baking.
Preventing leaks start with the shells being placed in the oven dish correctly. No science there ! Do not over fill, and place the shells carefully in the oven dish.
On the above photo, right bottom, one of mine tilted a little and only a teeny tiny bit leaked from the shell.
Popular fillings for Pasta Shells :
- Meat and Cheese (any meat, seafood or poultry)
- Cheese with Herbs – think Caprese style
- Ricotta with Pumpkin or any other similar vegetables
- Spinach, Bacon and Ricotta
- Creamed Spinach (not too creamy though)
You might also like these Pasta recipes:
Three Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells
- 24 large Pasta Shells
- 1 TB Olive Oil, extra virgin
- 450 g Lean Ground Beef, ( 1 pound )
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups Pasta Sauce, homemade or store-bought (any tomato based)
- 250 g Cream Cheese, plain, softened ( 8 oz )
- 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, finely grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
- 1 Egg
- Parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180 deg C ( 350 deg F ) - spray a 20 x 30cm ( 9 x 12 inch ) baking dish with cooking oil
- Cook the Pasta Shells as per the instructions on the pack - drain and let cool a little
- Meanwhile, heat the Oil in a skillet and cook the Ground Beef (drain if necessary) - Lightly season with Salt and Black Pepper - keep aside
- Pour half of the Pasta Sauce in the prepared oven dish and spread over the bottom
- Combine the Cream Cheese, 1 cup Mozzarella, Parmesan and the Egg in a medium mixing bowl - add the cooked Beef and mix thoroughly
- Place the cooked Pasta Shells on the layer of Pasta Sauce in the prepared oven dish - fill with the Cheese / Beef filling
- Drizzle remaining Pasta Sauce over and bake 40 - 45 minutes
- Remove from the oven - Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella over and bake a further 10 minutes or until the Cheese has melted
- Light Dinner - 6 People ( 4 Shells each served with salads/sides )
- Appetizer - 12 People ( 2 Shells each )
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 703.2 Total Fat: 41.6g Saturated Fat: 19.5g Unsaturated Fat: 16.4g Cholesterol: 157.3mg Carbohydrates: 46.9g Fiber: 3.3g Sugar: 7.5g Protein: 34g