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Italian Stuffed Shells

I originally intended on making these Mexican Stuffed Shells from Tricia’s March Menu.  Just not feeling that “unstuffed” or “Mexican” vibe this afternoon.

Ended up making Italian Stuffed Shells.  And a whole lotta ’em.

And a dairy-free version, too.

Recipe below is the doubled version.  Will make at least 2 9×13 pans.  And costs just over $10! Got another meal stashed into the freezer!

And I need to include this.  I only ate 4 of these.  Because that’s all that my teeny-tiny stomach would allow.  I totally would have had 8. Or 10. Maybe even 12!  They were THAT good.

Italian Stuffed Shells

Yield – 10 servings

Preparation Time – 25 minutes

Cooking Time – 20-30 minutes


  • 2 boxes of jumbo pasta shells ($4) I used about 2/3 of the shells, so you could get by just cooking 1 1/2 boxes.
  • 2 26 oz. cans spaghetti sauce ($2) Currently on sale for $1/can.
  • 1 box frozen spinach ($.50) These guys are regularly on sale for $1 and use $1/2 coupon.
  • 1.5 lb. ground beef ($2.09) On sale recently for $1.39/lb!
  • 1 medium onion ($.30)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder ($.10)
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs ($.20)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese ($1.25) Omit if dairy free
  • Serve with fresh veggies like 2 broccoli heads On sale for $.99 a bunch this week!


1. In large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Spread 1/2 – 1 cup spaghetti sauce into base of each baking dish.

3. Cook frozen spinach as directed on package. Drain excess liquid after cooking.

4. In large skillet, brown the ground beef with chopped onion. Drain, rinse and return to skillet. Add the rest of the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach.

Here is where I divided the meat into 2 parts. One part dairy-free. The other part with cheese.

5. To each meat, stir in 1 egg.

6. To meat sauce with dairy, stir in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

7. Spoon meat into pasta shells and place into baking dishes. (If making dairy free and ones with dairy, use separate baking dishes!)

8. Sprinkle cheese over the ones that contain cheese in the meat sauce.

9. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

10. Prepare veggie as side dish. Tonight for us, it was steamed broccoli! Steam broccoli in stovetop steamer, or in microwaveable dish with water and covered in plastic wrap for 4-5 minutes.

11. Serve Italian Stuffed Shells with Steamed Broccoli. Freeze the rest for later!

Cost $10.44 plus veggies

**This easily made 2 dinners plus 2 lunch leftovers for us!