Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef is a delicious dairy free main dish that feeds a crowd, making it perfect for Sunday dinner. It's a great recipe to make for meal planning, and makes for a delicious freezer meal.
Pasta is one of the ultimate comfort foods.
And it's easy to enjoy pasta dishes that are dairy free, too! This Dairy Free Mac and Cheese is always a crowd pleaser. And this Dairy Free Lasagna and Dairy Free Cheeseburger Pasta are both super satisfying.
Add this Dairy Free Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef to your regular dinner rotation. The whole family will love it!
🌟 Why this recipe works
This pasta recipe is sure to become a family fave.
- The recipe is easy to follow.
- It calls for simple ingredients you can find in almost any grocery store.
- It makes enough to feed 8 to 10 people.
- This is a great freezer meal, especially for a family of four: enjoy half now, and the other half you can freeze for another dinner next time.
- You can easily customize this recipe based on what you have on hand and your personal taste preference.
🛒 Ingredient notes
Ground beef - Use lean ground beef or you can substitute Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground pork.
Jumbo pasta shells - You'll cook the whole pound of jumbo shells but will likely not use the entire package for this recipe. This way, you will have enough shells in case some of them break while cooking. Save the rest for another pasta dish.
Vegetables - I like to add shredded carrots, finely chopped spinach, garlic and onions to the meat mixture for added nutrition.
Herbs - This recipe calls for fresh basil and parsley, but you can substitute dried Italian seasoning.
Dairy Free Cheese - Use dairy free vegan mozzarella cheese. You can also use vegan parmesan cheese.
Nutritional yeast - A staple ingredient in dairy free and vegan cooking, nutritional yeast adds a nutty, cheesy flavor to any dish.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Full detailed cooking instructions are in the recipe card below. But here's a quick step-by-step look at how to make this dairy free recipe.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to package instructions, just until the jumbo shells are cooked al dente. Remember they will continue cooking in the oven.
- Make the ground beef filling.
3. Make the marinara sauce.
4. Butter the casserole dish.
5. Add a layer of sauce to the baking dish.
6. Stuff each cooked shell with the filling, then place in the baking dish.
7. Continue stuffing the shells until you have enough to fill the casserole dish. Spoon the remaining sauce between the shells and over the shells.
8. Bake at 350°F degrees for 40-45 minutes.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Yes! It's easy to make this into a cheesy stuffed shells recipe with regular cheese instead of dairy-free cheese. Try using parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, or a cheese mixture of different types of cheese.
Yes. You can use your favorite pasta sauce or tomato sauce instead of making your own tomato sauce.
Allow the stuffed shells to cool completely, then store in an airtight container or cover the cooled baking dish tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
These stuffed shells with ground beef make a great freezer meal! In fact, I like to make this recipe into two separate baking dishes and serve one immediately, then freeze the other baking dish for another dinner. Store in a freezer safe container for up to one month.
🍽 Serving ideas
🍷 🥂 Wine pairings
This rich, comfort food classic pairs well with a bold, full-bodied Italian red wine. Pair it with a Chianti, Sangiovese, Barolo, or Barbaresco.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
Large pot - You'll need a large pot to cook the large pasta shells.
Casserole dish - Use a large baking dish that's around 9" x 13". You may have enough shells, meat filling, and sauce to fill two casserole dishes.
More delicious recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef
For the filling
- 1 package (16 ounces) jumbo or large pasta shells
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup finely diced onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the sauce
- 2 cans (28-ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced basil
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- Optional: additional chopped parsley for garnish
- In a large stockpot, cook the pasta according to package directions.
Make the filling
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, vegan mozzarella, spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, eggs, 1 tablespoon of sliced basil, and salt and pepper.
- In a separate large bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients (tomatoes, garlic, basil and parsley).
- Butter a large baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Drain the cooked pasta and run briefly under cold water, just until the pasta is cool enough for you to hold. Stuff each pasta shell with a large spoonful of filling. Place stuffed shells on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.
- Once the baking dish is full of stuffed shells, spoon the remaining sauce into the spaces between the shells.
- Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Allow the dish to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then garnish with parsley and/or basil, and serve.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.