Italian Essentials: Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells

Andy Anderson !


Most pasta shell recipes are stuffed with cheese, but I thought that I would take it to the next level by using sausage & cheese, and a few other bits and bobs to make them yummy.

Actually, this recipe is quite versatile, and you can choose to stuff the shells with any of your favorite ingredients. As a matter of fact, you can choose to serve these as a meal, or individually as appetizers.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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20 Min
30 Min



  • 6 oz
    italian sausage
  • 1/4 medium
    yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp
    parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 c
    breadcrumbs, panko variety
  • 1/2 c
    pasta sauce
  • 12 large
    pasta shells, jumbo
  • 4 oz
    mozzarella, freshly shredded

How to Make Italian Essentials: Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells


  2. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  3. Place the Italian sausage in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, and cook until the pink is gone.
  5. Chef’s Note: If your Italian sausage has an abundance of grease, drain the excess grease before proceeding.
  6. Add the diced onion, and continue to cook until the onion softens, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato paste.
  9. Stir to combine.
  10. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese, and reserve in a separate bowl.
  11. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (175c).
  12. Cook the pasta shells in boiling, salted water, according to package directions, until al dente.
  13. Wipe out the pan, and add the butter over medium heat.
  14. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown.
  15. Remove from the pan from the heat and reserve.
  16. Add the pasta sauce to an ovenproof baking dish.
  17. Carefully stuff the shells with the sausage/onion mixture.
  18. Place them into the dish with the tomato sauce.
  19. Add the shredded mozzarella, and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top.
  20. Place in the preheated oven, and bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 25 – 30 minutes.
  22. Finish by sprinkling a bit of freshly grated Parmesan over the top, and serve while still nice and warm. Enjoy.
  23. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Italian Essentials: Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Soy Free

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