Crockpot Stuffed Shells are incredibly easy to make and your whole family will love them!
Tender pasta shells stuffed with a mixture of cheeses and frozen spinach. They’re smothered in pasta sauce and cooked in a slow cooker for a set it and forget it kind of meal!
Stuffed shells are a handy dish perfect for make-ahead convenience. They freeze well and reheat like a dream for those busy weeknights when you don’t have time to fuss with dinner preparation.
How to Make Stuffed Shells
Everyone loves cheesy stuffed shells and cooking them in the slow cooker while you’re running errands allows you to come home to a ready meal.
- MIX the filling ingredients (per recipe below).
- STUFF the filling into cooked pasta shells.
- LAYER with sauce in a slow cooker and cook until filling sets and shells are tender.
- Veggies: Add any kind of veggies you’d like from steamed broccoli to chopped peppers or even sauteed mushrooms.
- Meat: Hot or sweet Italian sausage, ground beef or soy crumbles can be added to the cheese mixture or to the sauce. If you do decide to use meat, be sure to pre-cook and cool before adding to the cheese.
- Cheese: These stuffed shells are made with cottage cheese for more flavor. But if you like a milder and sweeter taste, then use ricotta instead. Either one works well in this recipe.
How to Freeze Stuffed Shells
To freeze for a later meal, cool and carefully transfer each shell into a foil pan. Pour the sauce on top, cover and freeze. Stuffed shells will keep for up to four months in the freezer or four days in the refrigerator.
Cooking from Frozen
Stuffed pasta shells stored in a foil pan can go straight from the freezer to the oven without having to worry about thawing ahead of time.
- Reheat at 350°F for an hour, with a foil cover on.
- Remove the cover 15 minutes before the end and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
While it’s reheating, you can relax or whip up some simple side dishes to serve alongside.
Stuffed shells taste great with bread warm from the oven. Serve them with buttery garlic bread or parmesan breadsticks. A crisp green salad with a zesty homemade vinaigrette is always welcome with any cheesy Italian dish like this.
Slow Cooker Stuffed Shells
- 28 jumbo pasta shells
- 26 ounces pasta sauce
- 3 cups cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
- 1 package spinach drained and squeezed dry
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded & divided
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
- Combine cottage cheese, spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, and seasoning. Stuff mixture into cooked shells.
- Place ½ cup sauce in the bottom of a 6QT slow cooker. Line with half of the shells and top with 1 cup of pasta sauce. Repeat layers.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cook on high 2-3 hours or on low 3-4 hours. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Easy Crockpot Pasta Dishes
- Creamy Crockpot Tortellini – creamy & delicious
- CrockPot Goulash – hearty comfort food!
- Crock Pot Mac and Cheese – a cheesy family favorite
- Lazy Crock Pot Lasagna – quick & easy to make!
- CrockPot Lasagna Soup – perfect weeknight dinner!