Cheese and pork stuffed shells

These cheese and pork stuffed shells are creamy and decadent and come together in no time. They make for a perfect weeknight back-to-school dinner that the kids and the entire family will enjoy.

Day 1 of 6 Back-to-school dinner inspiration

Shells are a really great pasta shape to use when cooking for kids. There’s something really interesting about how they look and I love that you can get super creative with the jumbo shells and stuff them with different proteins or cheese. I decided that with this recipe I wanted something savory and delicious and the ground pork did everything it needed to do for this recipe. It was the perfect accompaniment to the mozzarella and white cheddar cheese that I decided to pair it with. The light marinara sauce was also the perfect sauce to bind everything together. Because the meat is the longest thing that cooks in this recipe you can get that going immediately before the kids get home and then just build the dish in a cast-iron skillet or small baking dish and pop it right in the oven to get the cheese all melty and delicious and have dinner on the table in no time.

I mean, just look at this cheese pull–who wouldn’t want to enjoy this?!

Ingredients for my cheese and pork stuffed shells:

Hatfield recipe essentials ground pork
Onion powder
Garlic Power
Red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper
Jumbo pasta shells
Italian breadcrumbs
Marinara sauce
White cheddar cheese

Tools you’ll need:
Cast Iron Skillet

Common questions:

Can I freeze this meal?
Yes, once prepared, this is a great meal to vacuum seal and freeze for a quick weeknight dinner in the future. Be sure to get all the air out of the container to ensure ultimate freshness.

Can I substitute the ground pork?
Yes, you can make this meal vegetarian by using no meat or you can substitute with any ground meat of choices such as turkey, chicken, or beef. You can even do seafood by using jumbo lump crab and shrimp.

More recipes to try:
Seafood Lover’s Lasagna

Cheese and pork stuffed shells

These cheese and pork stuffed shells are creamy and decadent and come together in no time. They make for a perfect weeknight back-to-school dinner that the kids and the entire family will enjoy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
cooling time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 lb Hatfield ground pork
  • 1 small Onion chopped
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 8 oz Jumbo or large pasta shells
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups Fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups Marinara sauce divided
  • 1 cup White cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Mozarella cheese fresh mozarella, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Parmesean cheese
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil for sauteing pork
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees
  • On medium high heat, heat olive oil and saute pork, while using a wooden spoon to crumble the meat
  • After about one minute add in onions and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder and italian seasoning
  • While the meat cooks, prepate jumbo shells according to package nstructios
  • After about 10 minutes, pork should be done cooking. Remove it from the heat and transfer to a bowl to prepare the filling
  • Add pork, breadcrumbs, spinach, marinara, white cheddar cheese, and parmesean cheese together and mix well until combined and stuff the shells with about 2 tbsp of filling depening on the size of shells
  • To a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, add a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom and then cheese, add the stuffed shells on top being sure not to layer them but instead nestle them closely next to each
  • Add in the mozarella cheese in between the shells for a cheese pull effect
  • Top with more white cheddar cheese and finely chopped spinach and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until cheese is completly melted and the dish is bubbling on the corners
  • Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes then serve

This post is sponsored by Hatfield Meats. Thanks for supporting brands that I love that keep this blog going!



  1. Monica
    January 5, 2024 / 12:48 am

    This looks delicious. I am making this as I’m typing. I was wondering why the marinara is divided because I don’t see anywhere in the recipe where that it mentions to use it divided?

    • natasha
      January 5, 2024 / 1:56 am

      I used some in the meat sauce! Thanks for catching that

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