Sometimes you just need comfort food, and for many of us, that means good old cheesy dinner ideas. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like some ooey, gooey, cheese to give you the warm and fuzzies. These Pulled Pork Stuffed Shells take that up a notch by combining cheese with two other comfort food favorites: pasta and pulled pork. The result is a delicious, comforting meal that’s easy to make and a great way to use up some leftovers too.
In truth, these stuffed shells came about partly because of what we had, and an idea I’d had for a while to make some meaty stuffed shells. We just so happened to have some leftover pulled pork, ricotta and mozzarella and so it didn’t take long to go from there to these shells. I’m so glad I did, as we loved them. It’s an easy, tasty and comforting combination that works so well.
Ways to change up these pulled pork stuffed shells
While we loved the combination I have used here, you can change this up in a few ways:
- Swap out arugula for spinach, chard or kale.
- Instead of pulled pork, why not try some leftover pot roast or shredded chicken.
- Make it a little spicy, if you like, with some red pepper flakes or hot sauce in the filling.
- There’s a good amount of cheese going on in these, but if you like your shells extra cheesy, feel free to pile some more on top!
One of the other great things about this meal is you can easily make it ahead. Just make it as far as just before you put the final layer of cheese on, cover and refrigerate until needed. It will be fine for a day or two. Then take it out to warm a little as you put the oven on, top with cheese and bake.
These pulled pork shells are a delicious way to combine lots of comfort food favorites, and use up some leftovers at the same time. It’s one cheesy dinner idea you’ll come back to again and again.
More Cheesy Dinner Ideas:
- Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet
- Baked Ziti with Sausage and Peppers
- Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese Casserole
- Chard Pesto and Mozzarella Orzo Bake
Try these pasta recipes:
- 6 oz large pasta shells 1/2 box
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 cup pulled pork
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 3/4 cup marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook the pasta shells according to packet instructions so they are al dente. Drain and set aside on a baking sheet.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a medium skillet over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook a minute or two until fragrant. Add the pork and cook a minute to soften. Add the arugula and cook, folding it in so it all wilts down. Set aside to cool a minute.
Mix together 1/2 of the mozzarella (ie 1/4 cup) with the ricotta, add the pork mixture and mix.
Put approximately 1 1/4 cups of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
Fill the pasta shells with the pork-cheese mixture and set in the marinara in rows. (You might not use quite all of them, but a couple often break in boiling.)
Top with the remaining marinara sauce, the rest of the mozzarella and the parmesan.
Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes, uncovering for the last 5-10 minutes.