When I was growing up my mother would have charity or school meetings at least once a week. My father had little-to-no cooking ability, so my mom would keep tons of food she pre-prepared stocked in the freezer. All she had to do on those nights was pop something out of the freezer and toss it in the oven and we would have a homemade meal ready just in time for her to run out the door as Dad was coming in from work!

These baked shells are always a hit and remind me of the foods my mother prepared when I was young. When I make them I double the recipe so we can eat one batch that night and have another tucked away in the freezer for the nights that I’m too tired to cook. Even better, you can save a shell or two from dinner for your kids lunch the next day!

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Baked Shells (Serves 6)

Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 40 mins

nut free


  • 1 Box Pasta Shells (you will have a few leftover)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 1/4 Cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 Cups red sauce


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions.

3. Place oil in a saute pan over medium heat and cook onions for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

4. Add ground turkey, salt and Italian herbs. Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes or until turkey is cooked through.

5. Place cooled ground turkey mixture in a bowl with ricotta, parmesan and eggs. Stir to combine.

6. Place 2 tbsp of turkey mixture in each pasta shell.

7. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 11 inch baking dish with 1/2 cup of the red sauce.

8. Place the shells, seam side down, into the dish.

9. Cover with remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and remaining parmesan cheese.

10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

11. Serve.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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  • Baked Shells Weelicious ™ – Fast, Easy & Fresh Homemade Home … « Art And Life

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  • Margaret Ann

    I'm sorry to be dense, but at what point do I freeze this recipe? After step 6 or after step 9?

    I love all of your recipes and don't know how I would feed my children without them! Thank you for all you do, for our family and for all the rest out there who try so hard to teach our children about good nutrition.

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  • Cyd

    This recipe doesn't add up? In the ingredients it lists mozarella divided...does that mean some of it is added in the filling? It didn't say so in the instructions. Also, in the instructions it says to mix egg(s), but in the ingredients it only calls for 1 egg? I'm sure it will turn out fine the way I made it, but I would still like to know how the recipe was intended to be.

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  • Amanda

    baked shells looks delicious! i can't wait to try out your next recipe. one thing that would improve further recipes would be to have simpler instructions with less steps. again i love this recipe! keep on cooking! :)

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  • Alena

    what are in italian herbs

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    • Catherine

      You can buy dried Italian herbs at your local grocery store in the dried herbs section. It just says Italian Herbs. They contain Oregano, Marjoram, Savory, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, and Sage.

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  • Angie O.

    My whole family enjoyed this!

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  • Heidi

    Hi, Can you make these ahead of time? Like when the kids are napping so all you have to do at dinner time is pop it in the oven? :) Thanks!!

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    • Catherine

      Yes, you can! I would go only through step 8. Assemble the shells and place them in the baking dish. Keep in the fridge until ready to bake (covered with plastic wrap or something). Top with the sauce and cheeses, cover with foil and bake.

      leave a comment

  • Thao

    I just made this recipe today, it's soooo delicious. Thanks for another great recipe :)

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    • Juh

      Nice read, I just passed this onto a coaglleue who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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  • Melissa

    I am a little confused. I have looked at the ingredients list several times and do not see ground turkey listed. How much ground turkey should be used for this recipe?

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  • Sue Ellen R.

    I have the same question, how much turkey is needed? and can we substitute with spinach?

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    • Catherine

      1 pound ground turkey! Thank you, and I've updated the recipe!

      leave a comment

  • Brei

    Was good, I used the weelicious pizza sauce it was great!

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  • Susan


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  • Kirstin

    Thanks for this great recipe! I made a double batch and gave a frozen one to a girlfriend who just had a baby - it was very appreciated.

    I found that 1 whole jar of store-bought pasta sauce works great for this recipe - so easy!

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  • Jenny

    At what point do I freeze this recipe?

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