March 5, 2024

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells – Instant Pot

Posted on April 29, 2020 by in beef, pasta

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Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

I made these Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells in my Instant pot and that was just so cool. The pasta held it’s shape, yet it cooked in this rich meaty, tomato sauce. Family devoured it and that is all that counts.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

I made Stuffed Pasta Shells before and we loved it, so I was eager to try this recipe in the Instant Pot. I am still learning to work with my Instant Pot and have tried various recipe, some I can share, others not. Every morning, I make a pot of soup to share with those less fortunate and that takes me less than an hour. My Curries are delicious and quick and my Shredded Beef Recipe for Tacos was a sure winner.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

I have a thing about meatballs. Love them if they are good and absolutely despise them, it they are rock solid and hard. So I wanted to stuff the shells with my favorite meatballs mix. Kind of like a Spaghetti Bolognaise in Shells.

If you do not have an Instant Pot (yet), do not stress, you can make this in your oven too. So, let’s cook.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

serves 6


For the filling

500 g/ 1.1 lbs ground beef – topside if possible
1  onion – grated
2 slices of white bread – soaked in water
1 T Worcester Sauce
2 t salt
½ cup chopped parsley
1/2 t ground coriander
5 ml coarsely ground pepper

Soak bread in water for about 2 minutes. Squeeze the bread to remove all the water and add, with all other ingredients to the ground beef. Mix with the hands, but do not over-mix. Stuff the dry pasta shells with the meatball mix.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

For the tomato sauce

1 x 410g/0.9lbs chopped tomatoes
15 ml/ 1 T tomato paste
1 large onion – chopped
30 ml / 2 T olive oil
1 – 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 cups of water – or use 1 cup red wine and one cup water
salt and pepper to taste
zest and juice of a lemon
sugar – we like the sauce to be a little sweet.
125 ml chopped herbs of your choice 0 I prefer parsley, basil or thyme.

To finish off

250 ml / 1 cup – grated moz
to serve – grated parmesan


Set the Instant Pot on Sauté setting and add the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add all the other ingredients and cook the sauce for about 5 minutes. taste until you are happy. No pack the stuffed pasta shells on the sauce, yes, they can be in two layers. Close the lid and put the lock in place. Set the steam release knob to the sealing position.  Set to MEAT STEW, High Pressure, and use the + – buttons and select 20 minutes. At the end of the20 min cycle, switch the pot off and allow the pot to release naturally for about 10 minutes.

Now turn the steam release knob to the Venting position, this will release all the steam. When the pin in the lid drops down, you can open the lid. Use a spoon and carefully remove the pasta shells and place in an oven casserole. Pour some of the sauce over the pasta shells, top with the cheese and pop under the grill just to melt the cheese.

Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Conventional Method

Make the sauce in pot on the stove. Pour into oven casserole. Place stuffed shells in sauce. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

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