Shrimp-Stuffed Shells

Shrimp Stuffed Shells

Today marks the first day of a semester of regular (non-culinary) college classes for me in over a year. You might recall me mentioning taking a break from culinary school while the program I’m in moves to a new, better building. I’m hoping by the end of December ’12 I’ll be able to graduate with my bachelor’s and finish my culinary degree in a fabulous new facility.

It will be strange to not be studying cooking terms, definitions, and actions. I’m just glad I have this blog to explore new things in the kitchen. Like these Shrimp-Stuffed Shells. I would have never thought to use seafood in a cheesy pasta dish like this but somehow, it works.

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Whoever decided seafood and cheese shouldn’t go together was so wrong.
Texture: Al dente, saucy, creamy, cheesy, and the shrimp are perfectly cooked.
Ease: Very easy. Stuffing the shells is the most time-consuming part.
Appearance: Baked cheesy goodness.
Pros: A fun twist on a well-known dish.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes I will.


Shrimp-Stuffed Shells

Yield: 4-5 servings


20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
cooking spray
3 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta shells for 7 minutes, or until almost al dente. Drain well.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add cream cheese, milk, and pepper, cook, stirring, until cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Place shrimp in a large bowl and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss to coat. Add cream cheese mixture to shrimp, toss well.

Divide shrimp mixture evenly among pasta shells. Coat a 13x9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1 cup marinara over bottom of dish. Arrange stuffed shells over marinara, top with remaining 2 cups marinara. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked.

From Cooking Light January/February 2012

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10 Responses to “Shrimp-Stuffed Shells”

  1. #
    Tricia Adams — January 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I am DEFINITELY making this! My mouth is watering :)

  2. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — January 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I think it's a great idea having shrimp in something like this! Can't believe I didn't think of it sooner – my husband will love this 😀

  3. #
    Lauren @ KeepItSweet — January 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I also never would have thought to put shrimp in a pasta dish like that but it really does sound good!

  4. #
    Carolina — January 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    …this looks so freakin' good. I will have to convince my mom to buy me the ingredients

  5. #
    Deb — January 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    …will you tell me just a bit more about the kind of shrimp you used? Would using cooked shrimp result in something too chewy? Thanks. I love your blog!

    • handleheat replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

      Deb – don't use use cooked! Raw is the way to go – it cooks completely in the oven without becoming overcooked (chewy and tough). I usually buy frozen shrimp to save money, the size of the shrimp should be labeled on the packaging but don't concern yourself too much with the size since it's going to be chopped up anyways.

  6. #
    Bill Kiraly — January 18, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I love seafood and will most certainly be giving this recipe a try, but I'll avoid using the tiny frozen shrimp coming from overseas labeled as “Cocktail Shrimp'. In my experience they always smell fishy, and we all know what that indicates when dealing with seafood. This recipe deserves better than that.

  7. #
    Anna — January 18, 2012 at 12:47 am

    My husband will definitely love this. He adores cheese and shrimps and anything with them…A green salad with this dish and I have a perfect dinner to serve. Thanks for sharing!

  8. #
    Tracey — January 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Stuffed shells are one of my favorite meals, especially since they usually feed us for a few days :) Love that these are from Cooking Light, I've yet to break into this issue, but looks like a winner!

  9. #
    Hmm — March 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Not a bad rendition of Cooking Light's Recipe at

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