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Baked Cheeseburger Stuffed Pasta Shells

Make Ahead Cheeseburger Stuffed Pasta Shells
Casey Barber
Cook Time:
50 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

If you love all things cheeseburgers, there’s no doubt you’ll instantly fall for these ooey, gooey stuffed pasta shells. All of the ingredients of a good old-fashioned cheeseburger (yes, we're talking ground beef, cheddar cheese, relish, mustard and ketchup) are combined into a juicy, savory mixture and stuffed inside big pasta shells. Everyone at the table is sure to ask for seconds of this fun and inventive kid-friendly recipe.

What’s great about this recipe is that it can be fully assembled up to one day in advance. It can even be fully baked, cooled and then frozen for up to a month. Plus, making the shells really couldn’t be easier. Simply boil large pasta shells until al dente while you make the filling, which is a mixture of ground beef, ketchup, yellow mustard, sweet relish, Worcestershire sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. You’ll stuff this filling into each cooked pasta shell, line the shells up in a casserole dish and cover them with a tomato-ketchup sauce and more shredded cheddar cheese. 

The stuffed pasta shells only take about 40 minutes to bake in the oven. During this time, consider your sides. A crisp green salad or coleslaw is a crunchy, fresh accompaniment to the cheesy casserole but a cooked vegetable like sautèed green beans or roasted or steamed broccoli florets also pairs well. And if it’s your crowd’s thing, serve extra sweet relish or sliced pickles on the side, too. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • cup ketchup, divided
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
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 Fill a large (6- to 8-quart) pot with salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, according to package directions, until the shells are al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.


Drain and rinse the pasta shells in a large colander, and cool to room temperature.


 While the pasta shells cool, make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, 1/2 cup ketchup, mustard, relish, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and 1 cup shredded cheddar.


In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup ketchup and tomato sauce.


In the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, ladle enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom.


Fill each cooled pasta shell with 1/4 cup of filling and place shells filling side-up in the baking dish. Continue until all the shells are filled.


Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese evenly on top. Cover the dishes tightly with foil and refrigerate up to 18 hours.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.


Bake the shells, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes more until the cheese and sauce are bubbling.

Serve or freeze: Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature, then re-cover completely and tightly with foil. Refrigerate baked shells for up to 1 day freeze for up to 1 month. Uncover and reheat in a 350 degree oven until warmed through, 30 to 45 minutes for refrigerated shells and 1 to 1½ hours for frozen shells.