Stuffed Shells Recipes (Without Ricotta Cheese)



If you have any "I hate ricotta cheese" people in your family like I do, you are going to love these easy recipes for stuffed shells without ricotta !!

Stuffed shell recipes are one of my all-time favorite dinners to make that I know my whole family will love.




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Easy stuffed shells are budget-friendly dinners to make any time but, they are especially good in fall ( because cool weather and decadent cheesy comforting stuffed shells really go well together!!)

10 Cheap Healthy Meals For The Whole Family

You can stuff shells with just about anything you have on hand: spinach, meatballs, pepperoni, chicken, ground beef, or even just cheese and sauce. (Yum!)

And a yummy pasta sauce can help if your kids are not so fond of veggies, but you want to sneak in some spinach😋.


How To Make Stuffed Shells Without Ricotta Cheese?


So if you have someone in your family that does not like ricotta cheese, there are other good substitutes you can use, and the recipes taste just as delicious.

Probably the most common substitute for Ricotta cheese is cottage cheese. If you decide to use cottage cheese instead of ricotta, your recipe will have less fat and calories, especially if you use low-fat or no-fat cottage cheese.

However, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese have similar tastes and textures. So if someone does not like ricotta cheese because of the way it tastes, chances are they will not like cottage cheese as a substitute either.

But you can also substitute ricotta with mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, queso cheese, and even goat cheese instead of ricotta cheese in most stuffed shell recipes.

I love to use extra mozzarella cheese as a substitute for Ricotta cheese in lasagna recipes and other pasta dishes. Everyone in the family loves the cheesy filling and no one complains about the "bumpy' cheese (aka, ricotta.)

What is an Easy Way to Stuff Shells?

Boil shells just until they are tender. Do not let the shells get too soft, however. The softer the pasta shells, the easier they will fall apart. And the shells will bake more in the oven as well. 

What are the best Pasta Shells to Use?

I always like to use jumbo Pasta shells. They are just fun and easy to stuff with cheese. 

If you use manicotti for a stuffed shell recipe, an easy way to way to keep the manicotti from breaking when you fill them is to put the cheese filling inside a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag for piping the filling into the pasta shell.

You can also try using a small narrow spoon to fill manicotti shells. 

A quick easy way to make easy stuffed shells is to use lasagna noodles. Use the no-boil noodles and just put them in hot water for a few minutes so the noodles get soft. 

Then simply layer the cheese filling on top of the noodles. Roll the noodles into tubes and pop them in the oven to bake!

If you need a new baking dish for this recipe or for the winter casseroles you plan on making when the weather gets cooler, here is a favorite from Amazon~



1. Taco Stuffed Shells With Enchilada Sauce


Photo: LoveBakesGoodCakes.com

Everyone in my family loved, loved, loved this recipe! You fill the partially cooked jumbo shells with ground meat, enchilada sauce, cheddar cheese, and refried beans.  

I substituted the meat with veggie crumbles, and it was delicious!!

Add whatever spices and extras you like to create an easy kid-friendly pasta dinner that is delicious and easy on the budget.

Get the complete recipe at Love Bakes Good Cakes.


2.  Skinnier Stuffed Shells Without Ricotta 


Photo: Food Folks and Fun.Net

 You will not miss the ricotta cheese when you make these cheese-stuffed shells. You use fat-free cottage cheese instead of ricotta, so you get a yummy pasta dish with fewer calories and fat!!

(you can have guilt-free seconds 😏.)

The filling also has part-skim Mozarella cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, and garlic. 

Grab the Recipe


3. Pizza Stuffed Shells (No Ricotta)





Giant cheese-stuffed pasta shells filled with pizza sauce and other favorite pizza ingredients is one of those recipes that even picky kids will love. 

Even picky grown-ups should love this recipe!

And you are going to love just how easy it is to make this jumbo shells recipe!

Basically, you stuff jumbo pasta shells with your favorite pizza ingredients. cover the shells with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake. Voila!

Get the Recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything



4. Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells






The only ingredients you need to make yummy kid friendly chicken stuffed shells are cooked chicken strips, spaghetti sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. 


Get the Recipe at Favorite Family Recipes.


5.  Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Shells



Life In The Lofthouse


Jumbo shells stuffed with chicken and broccoli and smothered in Alfredo sauce. 

Seriously, what more could we wish for on a cool fall night than a mouth-watering pasta casserole ??

If your kids eat veggies without blinking an eye, then the whole family will love this amazing stuffed shell recipe!!

And if they squirm at the thought of eating veggies, you can always fill some pasta shells with just cheese, and chicken, just for the kids to eat.