Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells (Olive Garden Copycat)

Giant Cheese Stuffed Shells (Olive Garden Copycat)


Giant pasta shells are stuffed with a four-cheese mixture, smothered in a homemade marinara and alfredo sauce, then topped with breadcrumbs. So incredibly delicious.
  • Marinara Sauce
  • 7 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • ¼ cup quality olive oil
  • 1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1¼ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup pecorino romano, freshly grated
  • Stuffed Shells
  • 20 giant pasta shells
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1½ cup mozzarella, freshly grated
  • ½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • ½ cup asiago cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • Garnishment
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan, freshly grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cook Stuffed Shells and Breadcrumbs
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Stir every few minutes to keep shells from sticking to the pot and to each other. Drain the shells and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside in a colander.
  4. While shells are cooking, place all ingredients for breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix until combined. Next, spread on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  5. Marinara Sauce
  6. Pour tomatoes in a bowl and crush with your hands, Pour ¼ cup water into the can to get as much of the residual tomato. Set aside.
  7. Heat oil in a medium saucepan (one with tall sides) over medium heat, then add garlic once oil is hot, and lower heat to low. Sauté garlic for 4 minutes, careful to not the garlic brown too much. Once fragrant, carefully add tomatoes and increase heat to medium.
  8. Add dried oregano, red chili flakes, kosher salt, sugar, and reserved water, then stir. Cook until the sauce comes to a low boil.
  9. Lower heat to a simmer, then add basil and stir. Cook until sauce thickens, about 12 minutes. Once thickened, remove and discard garlic cloves and basil. Season to taste with more salt, if necessary. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Alfredo Sauce
  11. Add egg yolk and heavy cream to a small mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  12. In a separate saucepan, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic once oil is hot and lower heat to low. Sauté garlic for 4 minutes, careful to not the garlic brown as you want to infuse the oil with garlic flavor.
  13. Lower heat to medium-low and slowly pour cream mixture into garlic butter. Whisk until well combined. Add nutmeg, parmesan, and pecorino romano. Stir mixture until hot (about 3-4 minutes), but do not bring it to a boil. Once sauce is slightly thickened, season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper. Season to taste with salt, if necessary. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
  14. Stuffed Shells
  15. Increase oven heat to 375°F.
  16. Add the egg, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, parsley, salt, black pepper, and garlic to a medium bowl and mix until well-combined. Transfer the filling to a quart-sized resealable bag and cut a ½-inch opening in the corner.
  17. Assemble the stuffed shells: Spoon two-thirds of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  18. Carefully pipe the cheese filling into each shell, then place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining marinara sauce, then finish with alfredo sauce. Cover the baking dish with foil.
  19. Bake the stuffed shells for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 8 minutes, or until shells are warmed through and sauce is bubbling.
  20. Remove from the oven and top with toasted breadcrumbs and chopped fresh parsley.
  21. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  22. Enjoy!

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