Freezer Meal Recipes: Cheese Stuffed Shells

5 / 5 ( 6 Reviews )
10 Comments Jump to Recipe

Make ahead stuffed shells served next to lettuce

The Best Cheese Stuffed Shells Recipe!

These 4-cheese stuffed shells are perfect as bulk freezer meals. If you know someone who enjoys homecooked meals but doesn’t have the time to make them, these are a great gift idea! I also participate in a freezer meal group and this meal worked out great for that.

Close up stuffed shell

Of course, these cheesy stuffed shells are wonderful without freezing too! Delicious for an everyday meal, Sunday dinner, to serve to guests, or even for a special occasion.

Easy red sauce for stuffed shells

Easy Red Sauce

This recipe is a great one to make if you’re in a freezer meal group. I’ve made 6 8×8 pans before and each 8×8 holds 12 shells and serves about 6 people.

The sauce is from scratch but is super simple and inexpensive to make. Sometimes I’ll actually simmer up my sauce the night before if I have extra time, helps with the meal prep!

4 cheese shell filling

Too Much Filling?

When I made this meal in bulk, I tried to get all of the filling into my 4-quart mixing bowl, but it just didn’t fit. I transferred it all to a slightly larger bowl to finish mixing it together. So, if you’re making the 6 8×8 pans, be sure to use a bowl larger than 4 quarts for the filling, or you can try splitting it between two bowls.

Filled shells

Stuffing the Shells

Look at all of those beautiful shells! When I did this as a bulk meal, I had about 9 shells leftover from the two 12-ounce boxes of shells that I cooked. The filling and sauce are just the right amounts for the 6 8×8 pans though.

Stuffing the shells was actually super easy. It didn’t take very long at all. Easier and faster to make than manicotti!

Stuffed shells freezer meal

Final Thoughts

There you go. A delicious freezer meal that everyone will love!

oxo measuring cups

OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Measuring Cup Set

Learn more about Freezer Meal Cooking:

4 cheese stuffed shells

Make ahead stuffed shells served next to lettuce

Freezer Meal Recipes: Cheese Stuffed Shells

If you haven't made cheese stuffed shells like these yet, you need to try them out as soon as possible! Instructions for making this into a freezer meal as well! So good, it's even worthy of special occasions.
5 / 5 ( 6 Reviews )
Print Rate
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Serves: 8
Adjust Servings: 8


  • 9x13-inch pan
  • Large saucepan
  • Large bowl



Filling & Shells:


  • For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • While the sauce simmers, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta shells al dente according to package directions. Drain and immediately place them in an even layer on paper towels or parchment.
  • For the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano and basil. Add the spinach and mix until combined. Stir in the Parmesan and mozzarella.
  • Lightly grease your pan(s) with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • Spoon about half of the sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan(s) and spread evenly. Fill each pasta shell with an even amount of the filling (a little less than 1/4 cup per shell) and place the shells on top of the sauce in the pan. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top of the shells.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 5 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the shells sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Preparing for the Freezer:

  • Before baking, cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. Label and freeze. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Prepare after Freezing:

  • Remove plastic wrap and replace the foil cover. To bake from frozen, preheat oven to 350 and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake uncovered for 15-30 more minutes, until bubbly and warmed through.

Recipe Notes

A 12-ounce box of jumbo pasta shells usually includes about 44 shells, some of which may be broken.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 726mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g
Ingredients: Basil, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Oregano, Parmesan, Parsley, Pasta, Pepper, Ricotta Cheese, Salt, Spinach, Sugar, Tomato
Meal Type: Main Dish, Meatless
Categories: Pasta, Make Ahead/Freezer Meal

Comments & Reviews

Leave a Review/Reply

Want to see your picture by your comment? Get your custom avatar by registering for free at Gravatar.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating