If you love cheeseburgers and pasta, you will love this recipe for Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells! The shells are filled with a cheesy, beefy filling that tastes just like a cheeseburger. It's easy to make and perfect for a busy weeknight meal.
The whole family is going to love this cheeseburger twist on classic stuffed shells! It's quick, easy, and full of flavor!
When you think about stuffed shells, chances are, you're referring to the typical Italian version.
Stuffed shells are large-shaped pasta typically filled with a ricotta cheese mixture and then baked in a tomato sauce. But this recipe gives the stuffed shells a delicious twist by filling them with a cheeseburger-flavored filling!
The beef filling comprises ground beef, onions, ketchup, mustard, and pickles.
It gets stuffed inside cooked pasta shells and topped with shredded cheese. Then, it's all baked together until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
You can serve these Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells as is or with a side of French fries or a green salad.
Either way, you're in for a delicious and hearty meal that both kids and adults will love!
Why Make This Recipe
It's a delicious twist on Italian and American cuisine.
It's an easy recipe that can be made in under an hour, making it great for a weeknight meal.
Stuffed shells are a great way to use ground beef or any other ground meat you prefer.
Kids love the flavor of cheeseburgers, and adults will love this dinner recipe too!
- Jumbo Pasta Shells - This uniquely shaped pasta is large and is meant to hold fillings. You can find it in your grocery store's pasta or Italian section.
- Canola Oil - Used to saute the oil and other filling ingredients to cook them properly.
- Ground Beef - This dish's 'burger' portion is made using ground beef, just like in a traditional cheeseburger.
- Diced Onion - Adds onion flavor to the burger mixture, which pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese - They wouldn't be stuffed shells with cheeseburger filling without the cheese. Shredded cheddar adds a salty bite and lots of comforting texture and flavor.
- Dill Pickles - Adds a classic dill pickle taste throughout the filling.
- Ketchup & Mustard - These traditional cheeseburger condiments help the filling taste like an actual cheeseburger.
- Salt & Pepper - Used to season the filling mixture and bring out all the flavors.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Set aside.
Cook the pasta shells: Boil the shells in salted water until al dente, then drain and let cool slightly.
Cook the ground beef and onions: Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the ground beef and fry for 4 minutes, stirring to break up the meat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and the beef is cooked about 4 minutes.
Add the burger seasonings: Stir half the cheese, plus the dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper, and cook for a further minute to combine the flavors.
Stuff the shells: Spoon the cheeseburger mixture into the cooked pasta shells and place them into the casserole dish.
Top and bake: Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Cook the pasta shells until al-dente as they will continue cooking in the oven.
Once they are finished cooking, handle them carefully to ensure they do not break.
Don't overstuff the filling as it will be difficult to close the pasta around it.
If you don't have jumbo pasta shells, you can use medium-sized shells instead. Just be sure to adjust the amount of filling you use accordingly.
Try using different ground meats: turkey, chicken, lamb, pork, or bison to change up the flavor or change fat content.
To make this dish vegetarian, you can also use a plant-based meat substitute such as Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat. Just cook according to the package instructions before adding it to the rest of the filling ingredients.
If you're not a fan of ketchup and mustard, feel free to leave them out. The other flavors will still be delicious!
Give it a kick of heat by adding some diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the filling.
You can add other vegetables to the filling, such as chopped mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or zucchini. Just be sure to cook them before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.
Add some chopped-up bacon for an extra salty and savory flavor.
Storage & Freezing
Storing: Cooled leftover stuffed shells with meat can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Freezing: Cooked and cooled stuffed shells can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. When you're ready to eat them, thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat until piping hot.
Reheating: Reheat individual stuffed shells in the microwave for a minute or two until piping hot. Or, place all the shells in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and reheat at 350F/180C until hot throughout.
To make this dish gluten-free, you can use gluten-free pasta shells. Also, check the labels on your ingredients to ensure there are no wheat-containing ingredients.
Yes, you can make the stuffed shells 12 hours ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze them until you're ready to bake. Just be sure to add an extra few minutes onto the baking time if they're going into the oven straight from the fridge or freezer.
These stuffed shells are great on their own as a main dish. But, if you want to round out your meal, you can serve them with a green salad, roasted vegetables, or garlic bread.
Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells
- Sautee Pan
- 12 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pound ground beef 450 g
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup dill pickles finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
- Boil the shells in salted water until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the ground beef and fry for 4 minutes, stirring.
- Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and the beef is cooked, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in half the cheese, plus the dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.
- Spoon the cheeseburger mixture into the cooked pasta shells and place them into the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.