Tonight’s Dinner: Mac and cheese-stuffed shells recipe

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of hot mac and cheese… unless of course it’s mac and cheese stuffed into giant pasta shells and baked to golden perfection.

There’s nothing my son (or me for that matter) loves more than macaroni and cheese. He loves the rich pasta and the warm cheesy sauce. He loves helping me stir the sauce, then pour it over the elbow pasta. And when it comes out of the oven, he runs to his chair at the table so he can be the first one to have a bite. I didn’t think there would be anything he’d like as much as mac and cheese until Better Homes and Gardens suggested taking that comfort food and stuffing it into giant pasta shells. He was so excited. It was like finding a delicious surprise inside another delicious treat. I can’t wait to make it again, and I’m pretty sure, neither can he.

Cheesy pasta-stuffed shells

Serves 6


  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 8 ounces tiny elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the jumbo shells according to the package directions. Drain, shock with cold water and set aside. Boil the elbow macaroni, drain and set aside.
  3. While the pasta cooks, combine the Gruyere, cheddar and half-and-half in a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Stir in the elbow macaroni.
  4. Spread a half cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish. Spoon the cheese mixture into each of the jumbo shells. Place the stuffed shells in the casserole dish and top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover, sprinkle with the mozzarella and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through. Serve immediately.

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