These Instant Pot Stuffed Shells are shell-shaped pasta loaded with a variety of cheeses and topped with a delicious marinara sauce.
» You might also like Instant Pot Mac & Cheese.
These Instant Pot stuffed shells are perfect if you enjoy pasta and one-pot dinners. You’ll never go back to regular stuffed shells after seeing how simple these are to prepare!
Making pasta in an Instant Pot is the simplest thing to do. It essentially transforms any pasta meal into a dump-and-go recipe. It saves a lot of time and the pasta turns out perfectly every time.
Though there is some effort needed to stuff the shells, after that it’s all smooth sailing as you allow the Instant Pot to do the rest of the work.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cheese – This recipe has three varieties of cheese: mozzarella, ricotta cheese, and parmesan cheese, which gives it a delicious flavor.
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic that hasn’t been kept in the refrigerator for too long. This has the best flavor and no bitterness that comes from older garlic.
- Egg – Use large eggs at room temperature.
- Salt & Pepper – This is what really brings out the taste in this dish, so don’t skip the salt and pepper. You can also taste the food once it’s finished cooking and add additional to your liking.
- Jumbo Pasta Shells – These pasta shells have enough space for you to add the tasty filling.
- Marinara Sauce – Use your favorite Marinara Sauce or make your own.
- Parsley – Chopped for garnish.
How to Make Instant Pot Stuffed Shells
In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, half the mozzarella, the Parmesan, garlic, egg, half of the salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag, or a gallon-sized plastic bag and snip the corner.
Boil the pasta shells until al dente, just about 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them, because they will continue to cook under pressure. Drain the water from the shells and run them under cold water to stop the cooking.
Fill each pasta shell with the filling, about a tablespoon per shell.
Spray the inside of the Instant Pot with cooking spray and place the trivet in the Instant Pot. Stack the filled shells on the trivet.
Pour the water down the side of the Instant Pot so it fills up underneath the shells. You don’t want to pour the water directly onto the shells or they will become waterlogged and soggy.
Pour the marinara sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Do not stir it though. You need it to remain in this order while it cooks.
Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing, if necessary. Press the Pressure Cook or manual button and set to cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. When it’s done, do a quick pressure release.
Top the shells with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Set the lid back on the pot for about 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and/or Parmesan cheese, as desired.
Helpful Tips and Advice
- Since we are layering the shells, the amount of pasta shells to use can vary depending on the size of your Instant Pot. If you have a 6-quart Instant Pot – use 16 stuffed shells. If you have an 8-quart Instant Pot – use 20 stuffed shells.
- Fill the pasta shells with ricotta filling using a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut). It saves time over spooning the filling into each shell.
- When stacking the filled shells on the trivet it doesn’t matter if the pasta is touching the sides of the pot. They won’t burn.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. If you don’t have one, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot and the many accessories you can buy for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Different Sauce?
Yes! Feel free to substitute pesto, bolognese, spaghetti sauce, meat sauce, or any other sauce of your choice for the marinara. Doing this, you can create a bunch of different dishes with the same recipe.
Is This Recipe Good for Meal Prep?
You can absolutely make this recipe into a freezer dinner. Make the shells by combining the cheese and stuffing the pasta. Place them in a plastic bag and freeze until ready to eat! Then, when you’re ready to cook, simply follow the cooking directions.
How Do I Store Instant Pot Stuffed Shells?
Once cooked, this dish can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The best way to reheat the shells is in the Instant Pot. Just turn it on sauté mode until hot, add the food, then turn onto low or Keep Warm for 5 minutes until the food is properly heated.
More Pasta Recipes to Make in the Instant Pot
Once you try pasta in the Instant Pot you will keep coming back for more. Here are some more great recipes you will love in the Instant Pot.
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Instant Pot Stuffed Shells
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 15 ounces (425 g) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups (224 g) mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/2 cup (50 g) parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) black pepper divided
- 12 ounces (340 g) jumbo pasta shells
- 24 ounces (680 ml) marinara sauce
- 2 cups (473 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon (4 g) parsley chopped for garnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, egg, half of the salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag, or gallon size plastic bag and snip the corner.
- Boil the pasta shells until al dente, 8-10 minutes, then run under cold water to stop the cooking, and drain well.
- Spray the inside of the Instant Pot with cooking spray and place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Fill each pasta shell with filling, about a tablespoon per shell then stack the shells on the trivet in the Instant Pot.
- Pour water down the side of the Instant Pot so it fills up under the shells (ie don’t pour the water directly onto the shells).
- Pour the marinara sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle it with remaining salt and pepper. Do not stir.
- Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing, if necessary. Press the Pressure Cook or manual button and set to cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. When done, do a quick pressure release.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Set the lid back on the pot for about 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and/or Parmesan cheese, as desired. Serve straight from the Instant Pot or remove the shells from the pot. There will be more sauce under the trivet.
- Note: We are cooking the shells on the trivet because the shells can burn being placed right into the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Cooking the pasta directly in the Instant Pot may lead to a burn notice and burnt pasta. We are cooking the shells on the trivet to avoid that issue.
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