Many of us crave a hearty Italian meal during these cold winter evenings. Nothing says filling like a rich and meaty bolognese sauce or cheesy stuffed shells. As an avid home cook and someone who loves to experiment with food, I decided to combine these two dishes to make one epic comfort food recipe! For any college student looking to add some more #adulting into their lives, I recommend adding this dish to your cooking repertoire. It is simple to make if you follow these easy steps, and creates a deliciously hardy meal to share with friends or to save for some great weekly leftovers.

Vegetarian Alternative: Replace the Italian sausage with Trader Joe's Soyrizo for a bolognese sauce that is just as enticing! 

Bolognese Stuffed Shells

  • Prep Time:1 hr
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 19 boiled shells
  • 1 package regular or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 jar marinara sauce OR 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 container Trader Joes mirepoix OR 2 diced carrots + 2 diced celery stalks + 1 diced onion
  • 1 large diced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper or crushed red pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup dry red wine
Madelyn Gagnon
  • Step 1

    Boil the shells in salted water until soft.

  • Step 2

    In a separate saucepan, crumble and brown the sausage over medium heat.

  • Step 3

    Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic.

  • Step 4

    Once the vegetables are soft, add the marinara sauce and half of the chopped herbs (add in the red wine if desired). Lastly, simmer the bolognese sauce for 45 minutes to an hour.

  • Step 5

    In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and other half of the chopped herbs. Add a tsp of black pepper and pinch of salt.

  • Step 6

    1. Pour a layer of sauce into a rectangular casserole dish.
    2. Line the shells up on each side of the dish.
    3. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in each shell.
    4. Place a spoonful of the ricotta mixture to top off each shell.
    5. Sprinkle the tops of the shells with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

  • Step 7

    Broil the shells on High for 10 minutes in the oven, or until golden brown.

#Spoon Tip: If you love spicy food like me, use Trader Joe's spicy Italian sausage and add a diced Thai chili for that extra kick!

Madelyn Gagnon