Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells For Two is a small batch version of traditional stuffed shells with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
Once upon a time, I didn’t like ricotta cheese. I found it dry, boring, and just not fun to eat. I’m not sure what happened to change my mind. Sometimes those things happen when you transition from child to adult; you suddenly like things you thought you hated. I was in the mood for stuffed shells recently, ever since my coworker brought in stuffed shells for us to eat during lunch. This was actually a few months ago, but I’ve been craving stuffed shells ever since. Because I mainly cook for myself, I needed to figure out how to make them in a smaller portion. Sure, I could make a huge lasagna-pan full and freeze the extras, but my freezer wasn’t that big. It had enough room to store meats, frozen vegetables, and ice cream but hardly enough room to store extra already-prepared meals. The next best solution was to make a smaller-scale version, which I did with my Three Cheese Stuffed Shells For Two. 12 shells, two people. Or if you’re like me – 12 shells, two meals. Stuffed full of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, this saucy Italian dinner is comfort food that will leave you satisfied.
I was asking my friends how many stuffed shells equals one portion in order to properly call this stuffed shells for two. Answers varied from 4-6 shells. A few married friends noted that their husbands could possibly eat more than 6 shells. How many do you eat? For me, 6 shells paired with some garlic bread was plenty, but your stomachs may vary. Some people could get three portions out of 12 shells if you added a salad and bread.
Since I make food for myself quite often, I do have an arsenal of smaller casserole dishes. The one I used for this recipe was 5×7. Since you are simply cooking the shells and not necessarily doing anything science-y like baking, you can be flexible in dish size. You can even use an 8×8 pan. Just as long as the shells are snug and touching each other. Otherwise, they may slide around and lose their filling.
Speaking of making food on a smaller scale, did you notice I redid my Just For Two recipe page? Now you can easily scan my recipes and see which dinners, desserts, and drinks make only two servings. Since I successfully made traditional three-cheese stuffed shells for two people, I’m thinking of other stuffed shell fillings I could make. In fact, I just bought another box of jumbo shells. Guess what I’ll be making for dinner again soon…
- 12 uncooked jumbo shells
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or basil paste
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 cup your favorite spaghetti sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F. Have a 5x7 casserole dish* ready.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the shells for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan, salt, basil, and egg.
- Spread 1/4 cup sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Stuff each shell with some of the ricotta mixture and place snug inside the dish. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted on top.
*Since you are simply cooking the shells, you can be flexible in dish size. You can even use an 8x8 pan. Just as long as the shells are snug and touching each other. Otherwise, they may slide around and lose their filling.
Want more pasta for dinner?
Spinach, Carrot, and Mushroom Lasagna
Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi