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Instant Pot Stuffed Shells

  • Author: 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes (plus 10 minute NPR)
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a beefy cheesy mixture and smothered in marinara sauce. 


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 (26 oz jar or can) marinara sauce
  • 1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells (has about 42 shells in it)
  • 2 cups water


  1. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute (more) setting. When the display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up*. Add in the salt, garlic powder, pepper, basil, onion powder, parsley and oregano. Brown for about 5 minutes. Pour the meat into a medium mixing bowl. 
  2. Pour 2 cups water into the bottom of the Instant Pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze.  Turn off your Instant Pot. 
  3. Add cottage/ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella and parmesan into the bowl with the meat. Stir to combine. 
  4. Use your fingers to stuff the meat mixture into the pasta shells. Some shells will be easier to stuff than others. 
  5. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. Pour the marinara sauce into the Instant Pot with the 2 cups of water that’s already in there. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it’s boiling drop in the shells working quickly. Turn off the saute setting.
  6. Cover the pot and move valve to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 4 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then move the valve to venting and remove the lid. 
  7. Use a large spoon to scoop the shells onto serving plates. Serve with the sauce. 


This makes a lot of shells, you can easily halve this recipe. Halve all the ingredients and keep the cooking time the same. 

Alternately you can cook the shells ahead of time so that they are pliable and easier to stuff. Boil the noodles according to package directions. Stuff them with filling. Then use the pot in pot method to cook so they do not overcook. Pile the stuffed shells into a pan that will fit inside your Instant Pot. I like to use this 3 quart mini Instant Pot liner inside by 6 or 8 quart pot. Pour the jar of marinara sauce over the shells (you don’t need to add water in with the marinara). Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Lower the pan with shells into the bottom of the Instant Pot with a trivet/sling. Cover the Instant pot and turn valve to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 15 minutes. When time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid and serve. 

I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. 

Try swapping out the lean ground beef for a pound of Italian sausage. Then omit all the spices.

  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Instant Pot