These Pizza Stuffed Shells are jumbo pasta shells stuffed with sausage, pepperoni, and cheese that taste like pizza. Put your favorite toppings in! They can be made ahead and frozen for later. These are a total crowd pleaser.
PIZZA STUFFED SHELLS
I feel like birthday parties have gotten out of control. I used to throw huge parties at the house for my kids and then got completely burnt out.
The last couple of years my boys have requested to have their birthday parties at LaserQuest and I didn’t argue with them.
It’s so much easier and then I don’t have to clean the whole house before and after the party.
There’s a strong Latin influence down here in South Florida and birthday parties are a big deal. My Latin friends said it’s not unusual to spend a couple thousand of dollars on a party…for a one year old. Yikes.
This year my son requested to have his 10th birthday party at the house. Ugh. I would say no but for double digits I feel like I need to pull out all of the stops and find the energy to do it.
I’ve been planning his football themed party with him and when I made these Pizza Stuffed Shells the other night for dinner he loved them so much he asked, “Can we have these at the party instead of pizza?” That’s how good they are.
You know I love stuffed shells, but these are a whole new twist on the traditional ones.
- ITALIAN SAUSAGE – gives great flavor.
- PEPPERONI – gives the pizza to the pizza shells.
- GARLIC – no dish can be made without.
- ITALIAN SEASONINGS – just a blend of seasonings.
- COTTAGE CHEESE – I’m not a fan of cottage cheese but it adds a creaminess and I promise you won’t even know it’s there.
- MOZZARELLA CHEESE
- JUMBO SHELLS – These look like big mac n’ cheese shells. My kids love them!
- SPAGHETTI SAUCE – more often called marinara sauce. You can make homemade sauce but I like Rao’s which is just as good.
This recipe makes a lot so I divided the shells between 2 smaller pans and made one for dinner and froze the other one for a rainy day.
Or at least that was the plan until I burnt the first pan because I was on the phone with my sister for an hour and forgot it was in the oven. Multitasking isn’t always my greatest strength.
So here’s the second pan…not burnt. And this dish has cottage cheese in it but remember, I’m a cottage cheese hater usually and you don’t even detect it. It melts down into a cheesy, yummy sauce.
OTHER PIZZA RECIPES
Yield: 25 shells
These Pizza Stuffed Shells are jumbo pasta shells stuffed with sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. Put your favorite toppings in! They can be made ahead and frozen for later. These are a total crowd pleaser.
(or use dried garlic powder if you don’ have fresh)
shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
(26-oz) jar spaghetti sauce
- (optional) grated Parmesan for topping
Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. I like to split it into 2 smaller pans and cook one for dinner and freeze the other one.
Cook jumbo pasta shells according to package. Drain and cool.
While pasta is cooking brown the sausage in a pan. Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking. Drain sausage.
In a medium bowl, combine sausage, pepperoni, cottage cheese, Italian seasonings, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
Stuff pasta shells with cheese mixture and place in prepared baking dish. Top with spaghetti sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Freeze here for later if making ahead of time.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle Parmesan on top if desired. Enjoy!
Source: Slightly adapted from Plain Chicken
Freezer Instructions: For best results, thaw dish out in the refrigerator the night before eating and bake as instructed. You can also bake it frozen but just add 10-15 minutes to the bake time.