Crock Pot Stuffed Shells With Ground Beef

stuffed pasta shells with beef
Lauri Patterson/Getty Images
Ratings (30)
  • Total: 5 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
766 Calories
20g Fat
93g Carbs
51g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 766
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 425mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 93g 34%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 51g
Calcium 290mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

​​These crowd-pleasing stuffed shells are easy to prepare and cook in the slow cooker. The shells are filled with a delicious mixture of browned ground beef, mozzarella cheese, and breadcrumbs, then they're slow cooked with your favorite spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese.

The ground beef filling makes this a hearty meal and a favorite of meat lovers. Feel free to use ground turkey for a lighter filling, however. Italian sausage is another great option for the filling— just make sure to brown the sausage with the garlic and onion and then continue with the recipe as listed!

Ingredients

  • 18 to 20 pasta shells (jumbo, about 6 to 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Italian, Parmesan, or garlic seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 32 ounces spaghetti sauce (or marinara)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following the package directions, just until tender and still firm; drain and set aside.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the ground beef making sure to break it up into smaller chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the onion to the skillet and continue to cook until the beef is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer; drain mixture well.

  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and egg. Mix together thoroughly.

  4. Stuff the meat and cheese mixture into the drained pasta shells set aside.

  5. Pour about half of the spaghetti sauce or marinara into the slow cooker insert.

  6. Arrange stuffed shells in the sauce.

  7. Spoon the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

  8. Cover the pot and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

Tips

Make sure you cook the pasta just until it's al dente. The shells will be much easier to fill and arrange in the slow cooker that way, plus they'll soften even more when they're cooked with the filling and could be mushy if they're overcooked initially.

Drain the fat from the beef into a container and discard it in the trash. Fats can cause clogged drains and damaged pipes—never pour fats down the drain.