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Our Giant Cheese Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Copycat Recipe

Our Giant Cheese Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Copycat Recipe

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Do you love Olive Garden’s giant cheese stuffed shells? If so, you’re going to love our copycat recipe! This recipe is easy to follow and just as delicious as the original. You’ll need a few simple ingredients like cheese, Italian seasoning, and marinara sauce. We also recommend using jumbo pasta shells, but this is one of those recipes that we can easily pop on the table with a limited amount of time. One of the best things about this Olive Garden stuffed shells recipe is that it’s so easy to make.

Our Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Copycat Recipe

This can be a budget-friendly pantry meal

If you watch your grocery store selling cycle, you will see that pasta and pasta sauce are on sale every 6-8 weeks. You can pick up a box of pasta for a buck, and even canned sauces get that low.

I like to get a bunch when the prices drop that much so I can be ready for any busy night dinner. It usually takes only 10 minutes to boil pasta and heat up the sauce – for a great meatless meal.

Olive Garden Stuffed Shells freezes well


This is one of those recipes that I like to double or triple when I am making it. It reheats beautifully, and I love knowing I have Olive Garden stuffed shells in the freezer for a busy night. To freeze this recipe, I make it in that disposable 8-inch by 8-inch pans that you can find at the local Dollar Tree for just $1.25.

You can use those Round Foil Pans with Board Lids for smaller batches that are great to take to a shut-in. or step up to the Cooking Concepts Foil Lasagna Pans, 2-ct. Packs for the family size dinners.

You can cover the shells with aluminum foil, freeze them for up to three months. When you are ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed. Olive Garden stuffed shells are one of my favorite freezer meals!

You can add meat to this

If you want to add some meat to this Olive Garden copycat recipe, feel free! I like to brown some Italian sausages and add them to the sauce. You could also use ground beef or even shredded chicken breasts. Just make sure you cook the meat before adding it to the sauce. Olive Garden Stuffed shells are a great way to use up leftover cooked meat, too. Just add it to the sauce and you’re good to go!

What do I serve with this?

jumbo stuffed shells olive garden recipe

Olive Garden Stuffed shells are a great main dish, but you’ll need something to round out the full meal. I like to serve a simple fresh salad and some garlic bread. You could also add a side of steamed vegetables.

I know I haven’t done a lot of Olive Garden copycat recipes before, just Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup and Olive Garden Pasta e Fagoli Soup Recipe, but I was craving their stuffed jumbo shells the other day and just wasn’t up to the cost of going out or dealing with the weekend crowd to visit our local restaurant. I looked at my pantry and came up with this easy copycat recipe that the family loved, even if it didn’t come with unlimited soup or garlic breadsticks. This will become one of your family’s popular recipes to request.

Copycat Olive Garden Jumbo Stuffed Shells

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients – trust me, it is totally worth it.

Olive Garden Stuffed shells ingredients

Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup bread crumbs 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or melted butter 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 20 jumbo or giant pasta shells 
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese – you can use small curd cottage cheese if you can’t find ricotta
  • 1 cup Italian cheeses blend of shredded cheese 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 can or jar pasta sauce, your favorite marinara sauce or meat sauce
  • ½ cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shreds 

How to Make Olive Garden Stuffed Shells:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your 13×9 baking dish and coat it generously with your favorite nonstick spray. 

making herb mix for Olive Garden Stuffed shells

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, olive oil, and parsley until well combined – set this bowl aside for a minute.

Cook your jumbo pasta shells according to the instructions on the package to cook shells, drain the water, and set them aside in a bowl of cold water. 

Olive Garden Stuffed shells cheese filling

In a medium bowl whisk the ricotta, Italian cheese shreds, and egg until well combined to make your cheese filling – set this bowl aside. 

Olive Garden Stuffed shells alfredo sauce

In a small pot over medium-high heat, whisk together the butter and heavy cream until it begins to bubble. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir until it melts into the butter mixture.

Remove the pot of this simple creamy Alfredo sauce from the store and set it aside. 

Olive Garden Stuffed shells marinara sacue base

Spread the pasta sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

Olive Garden Stuffed shells stuffed shell

Gently spoon your cheese mixture creamy filling into your cooked shells.

Olive Garden Stuffed shells placed on top of sauce

Place the filled shells on top of the sauce in the baking dish. 

Olive Garden Stuffed shells topped with alfredo

Spoon alfredo sauce over the top of the shells.

ready to bake Olive Garden Stuffed shells

Sprinkle on breadcrumb mixture and bake for 30 minutes 

stuffed shells finished

Garnish with chopped parsley, serve, and enjoy!

FAQs

Can I make Olive Garden stuffed shells ahead of time?

Yes! This is actually a great recipe to make ahead. Just assemble the dish and bake it when you’re ready. Olive Garden stuffed shells will keep in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

How do I reheat Olive Garden stuffed shells?

If you’re reheating from the fridge, just pop them in a 350-degree oven until heated through. If you’re reheating from the freezer, thaw them overnight in the fridge and then bake at 350 degrees until heated through.

stuffed shells ready to serve on table

I hope you enjoy this Olive Garden stuffed shells copycat recipe! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to hear from you!

Other pasta recipes you may like:

Print off our recipe here:

Yield: 6

Our Giant Cheese Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Copycat Recipe

stuffed shells ready to serve on table
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 20 jumbo or giant pasta shells
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese - you can use small curd cottage cheese if you can't find ricotta
  • 1 cup Italian cheeses blend of shredded cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can or jar pasta sauce, your favorite marinara sauce or meat sauce
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese shreds

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your 13x9 baking dish and coat it generously with your favorite nonstick spray. 

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, olive oil, and parsley until well combined - set this bowl aside for a minute.

Cook your jumbo pasta shells according to the instructions on the package to cook shells, drain the water, and set them aside in a bowl of cold water. 

In a medium bowl whisk the ricotta, Italian cheese shreds, and egg until well combined to make your cheese filling - set this bowl aside. 

In a small pot over medium-high heat, whisk together the butter and heavy cream until it begins to bubble. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir until it melts into the butter mixture.

Remove the pot of this simple creamy Alfredo sauce from the store and set it aside. 

Spread the pasta sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

Gently spoon your cheese mixture creamy filling into your cooked shells and place the filled shells on top of sauce in the baking dish. 

Spoon alfredo sauce over the top of the shells.

Sprinkle on breadcrumb mixture and bake for 30 minutes 

Garnish with chopped parsley, serve, and enjoy! 

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