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Make dinner super easy when you make this delicious Crockpot Stuffed Shells recipe. It looks fancy but it is so easy and the shells are stuffed with a cheesy filling.

Close up image of stuffed shells in the slow cooker with a serving on a wooden spoon
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This is one of our favorite dishes to make for meatless Monday. It is full of so much cheesy goodness that no one ever misses the meat! These stuffed shells are so amazing and the slow cooker makes it quick and easy.

It is easy enough for busy weeknights but so delicious you will want to serve it for company. This is a must try and a great recipe to try that is frugal and easy. Another meatless dish that my entire family loves is this Best Meatless Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe.

Why We Love This Recipe

Making this slow cooker stuffed shells takes the guess work out of dinner. The layers of pasta, melty cheese and tomato sauce makes the meal always on the menu. Simple ingredients makes this meatless recipe a family favorite.

It is the perfect weeknight meal or to feed a crowd. Serve with your favorite side dish recipes.

Ingredients

Stuffed Shells ingredients - Pasta shells, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese
  • Jumbo Pasta Shells (depending on how many will fit in your pan)
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Egg
  • Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

Now, we absolutely love this recipe as is. However, the ideas are endless for changing things up.

  • Add Meat – You can add Italian sausage, ground sausage or ground beef if you want to add meat. Ground turkey is also tasty as well.
  • Other Additions – We have also added chopped spinach or frozen spinach and that was amazing.
  • Cheese – Cottage cheese also works with the ricotta or in place of it. We have combined both and it was yummy.
  • Garlic – Substitute the minced garlic for garlic powder or cloves garlic.
  • Italian Seasoning – Feel free to substitute the seasoning for Italian Seasoning. I usually start with a tablespoon.

Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1 – Cook Pasta – Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place the shells in the water and cook 3 minutes less than the cook time listed on the package.  Drain the shells and rinse with cool water.
  • Step 2 – Spread Pasta Sauce – Spray a 6 quart crock pot with a non-stick spray and then spread ½ of the marinara sauce at the bottom of the pan.
  • Step 3 – Combine Ingredients – In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, minced garlic, parsley, basil leaves, salt and pepper.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Step 4 – Stuff Shells – Then spoon the cheese mixture into the shells and place the shells in the crock pot on top of the sauce. You can layer the shells in the crock pot as well if needed.
  • Step 5 – Pour Sauce – Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the shells and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Step 6 – Slow Cook – Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Cook Pasta – Before stuffing the shells, then need to be cooked to al dente or according to package directions.
  • Prepare Slow Cooker – The slow cooker needs to be sprayed with cooking spray including the bottom of the crock pot. This will prevent the pasta from sticking.
  • Cooking Time – Cooking time will vary depending on your crock pot. You will cook the stuffed pasta until cheese is melted and heated through.
Close up image of stuffed shells in the slow cooker with a serving on a wooden spoon

Serving Suggestions

Serve this delicious stuffed pasta with garlic bread and air fryer broccoli. We keep things simple when serving this crockpot Italian dish. We also love to serve these breadsticks to make sure to get every last drop of the sauce.

Close up image of stuffed shells in the slow cooker with a serving on a wooden spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

How to Reheat

Reheat your leftovers in the microwave or the oven depending on how much you have left. If reheating in the oven, place in a baking dish and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Can I Freeze Stuffed Shells?

Yes, we prepare shells as directed and place in a freezer safe disposable pan. Cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight then bake in the oven.

More Easy Crockpot Italian Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this Crockpot Stuffed Shells Recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

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Crockpot stuffed shells

4.92 from 23 votes
Make dinner simple when you make Crockpot stuffed shells recipe. The shells are stuffed with a delicious cheesy filling. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 424

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place the shells in the water and cook 3 minutes less than the cook time listed on the package.  Drain the shells and rinse with cool water.
  • Spray a 6 quart crock pot with a non-stick spray and then spread ½ of the marinara sauce at the bottom of the pan.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, minced garlic, parsley, basil leaves, salt and pepper.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Then spoon the cheese mixture into the shells and place the shells in the crock pot on top of the sauce. You can layer the shells in the crock pot as well if needed.
  • Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the shells and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts

Calories 424kcal, Carbohydrates 35g, Protein 26g, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 12g, Cholesterol 97mg, Sodium 1327mg, Potassium 631mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 7g, Vitamin A 1310IU, Vitamin C 10mg, Calcium 455mg, Iron 2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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Comments

  1. Sandra – We haven’t tried that. The egg binds the stuffing together so if you leave it out, it might be more separated or watery. If you try it out, please come back and let us know how it worked out. Thank you!

  2. I don’t have a crock pot, can I make this in the oven and, if so, covered? and for how long and what temperature

  3. Can you make this using frozen stuffed shells? If so does the cook time or temp. need to be increased?

  4. I haven’t tried those yet, I would use the same time and cook time but they might be softer than making them from scratch. If you try it out, let us know how it works out!

  5. Yes, definitely – Just keep it in the refrigerator and let them cook to room temperature before cooking and it should work great.

  6. I have made these before but not in a crock pot I have made them in the oven and my oven version is that I add 1/2 pounds of Italian and hamburger to the marinara sauce is there any way I could do this to the crock pot version? I thought if I cook the meat before adding it to the sauce and then adding the sauce on top of the shells that it might work, what are your thoughts? 🙂