The holiday of Shavuot is almost upon us, when it’s traditional to eat dairy foods, and these cheesy stuffed shells definitely fit the brief.

For the filling, I sautéed some onion, garlic, shredded carrot, celery and mushrooms, and mixed that in with ricotta, parmesan and an egg.

You can tailor the filling to your taste. The amounts don’t need to be exact, and you can leave out or exchange some of the ingredients for others.

You can cook the shells in one large pan, or divide them up into smaller pans (like I did).

You can also adjust the amount of cheese you sprinkle over the top. You could also do a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan.



  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
  • 3 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1 12-oz. box jumbo shells
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or more, if you prefer)
  • 2–3 cups marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • Salt


  1. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic, carrot and celery, and cook until wilted. Add the mushrooms and cook 1–2 minutes more. Salt mixture to taste and set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the vegetables with the ricotta, parmesan and egg.
  3. Cook the shells according to the instructions on the box. Then fill each shell with the ricotta filling.
  4. Spread a layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking pan. Place the shells in a single layer, with the opening facing upwards. Pour the rest of the marinara over the shells and sprinkle with fresh basil (optional).
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Take the pan out, remove the foil and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the shells. Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Yields: 25–30 shells