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Classic stuffed shells got an Instant Pot makeover!
- No need to pre-cook the pasta means no dirtying extra pot.
- And instead of spooning the filling into the shells, put the filling into a piping bag (or a ziplock bag) and pipe into the shells. It’s so much faster that way.
Instant Pot Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided, (about 1lb)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 8 oz conchiglioni pasta/ jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups water
- 24 oz pasta sauce
- To brown the meat: set the Instant Pot to Sauté.
- When the display reads “HOT”, add ground beef, salt and seasonings and brown the meat, breaking it apart, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- To make the cheese filling: while meat is browning, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese and 3 cups of mozzarella cheese. Mix well and transfer the mixture in a piping bag with a round tip (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut).
- Fill the pasta shells with the cheese mixture.
- Once the meat is browned, drain, if needed, and spread it evenly in the bottom of the pan. (Note: deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of water if there is any bits and pieces are stuck to the pan.)
- To assemble: layer the filled pasta shells over the meat.
- Pour water and then pasta sauce over the pasta. Do NOT stir.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to “sealing”.
- Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual for 8 minutes on high. (NOTE: It took 20-24 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- Do quick release by carefully turning the valve to venting. And carefully open the lid.
- Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and close the lid. Let it sit for about 3 minutes and then open the lid. Stir gently and serve.
Less than 1 hour to make these satisfying stuffed shells from start to finish. And it’ll actually take about 15 minutes tops of your time. The rest is just a waiting game!
Speedy tips for quickest stuffed shells:
- Multi-task! Start with browning the ground beef. And while the meat is cooking, which will take about 10 minutes, work on ricotta filling and pasta. But make sure to quickly stir meat a few times.
- Good quality pasta sauce. I love Rao’s Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce.
- No need to par-cook the pasta shells, which not only saves you time, but also one less pot to clean!
- Use a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with one corner cut) to fill the pasta shells with ricotta filling. It’s so much faster than spooning the filling into each shell.
You can’t wrong with classic ricotta cheese filling! It’s a classic for a reason. Simple, flavorful and oh-so-creamy!
And here are step by step photos to show you how to assemble the dish in an Instant Pot.
Final step: give it a good stir before serving! All the meat is on the bottom, so you want to gently stir from top to bottom and back to top. 🙂 Enjoy!