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Breaded Stuffed Shells

Our Breaded Stuffed Shells offer a fun twist on the traditional stuffed pasta you’re used to. The combination of creamy cheese filling and crispy breadcrumb coating makes this dish memorable and fun. Whether you’re craving something different for dinner or need a crowd-pleasing appetizer, these stuffed shells fit the bill. The process of breading and flash-frying adds the perfect crunch that contrasts beautifully with the gooey, cheesy center.

Breaded Stuffed Shells

Breaded Stuffed Shells

If you like mozzarella sticks you have just found your brand new favorite. Our Breaded Stuffed Shells have a unique texture and flavor profile but it is definitely a play on its mozzarella stick counterpart. This dish is perfect for those who love the comfort of stuffed pasta but crave a bit of crunch. The blend of cheeses – cottage, Parmesan, and mozzarella – offers nice flavors and creaminess, while garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning give each bite classic Italian flavors.

The breading and flash-frying process is a little work, but it is worth the effort! I can’t wait to try these in the air fryer, too! Grab a helper or two and set up an assembly line and you’ll have all of your shells breaded and fried in no time.

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Why you’ll love this dish…

  • Crispy and Creamy Texture: The breadcrumb coating provides a delightful crunch that is perfect with the cheesey filling.
  • Versatile Serving Options: Serve as an appetizer with marinara sauce or as a main dish alongside your favorite sides or a batch of our Smoked Italian Meatballs!
  • Customizable: Experiment with different cheese combinations or add more herbs for a personalized touch.
  • Simple Preparation: Despite its impressive appearance, this dish is straightforward and fun to make.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Sure to be a hit at gatherings, pleasing both kids and adults alike.

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Breaded Stuffed Shells shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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  • Extra large pasta shells
  • Cottage cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Large eggs
  • Milk
  • Italian seasoning
  • Chopped Italian parsley
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • Marinara sauce

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How to make Breaded Stuffed Shells

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.


Cook Pasta

Cook pasta shells as per package instructions and set aside.



Prepare the cheese mixture with the specified seasonings.



Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture.



Coat each stuffed shell in an egg wash followed by breadcrumbs.



Fry the breaded shells until golden and crispy.

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Fried Stuffed Shells FAQ

Can I bake these instead of frying?

Absolutely! For a lighter version, bake the breaded shells until golden brown. You can use the air fryer too, if you have one!

What other sauces can I serve with this dish?

Alfredo or pesto sauces also pair beautifully with these stuffed shells.

Can this recipe be made in advance?

This dish is best served right after cooking, but if you happen to have extras you can reheat them in the air fryer or oven and maintain that crisp texture.

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Breaded Stuffed Shells
Yield: 6 servings

Breaded Stuffed Shells

Breaded Stuffed Shells

These cheesy, delicious shells are breaded and flash-fried for a crunchy breading! Perfect for dipping as an appetizer or making it into a meal and serving with meatballs.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound extra large pasta shells
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 cups oil
  • 1 cup marinara


  1. In a large stock pot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add in your noodles and use the recommended cooking time on the package.
  3. Drain the water and set the cooked shells aside.
  4. Put all the cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, Italian seasoning, and parsley into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Fill each pasta shell with the cheese mix.
  6. Mix the eggs and milk in a small bowl.
  7. Pour the bread crumbs into a separate bowl.
  8. Dip each filled shell into the egg wash, remove and roll in the bread crumbs.
  9. Be sure to get an even coat of bread crumbs on each shell.
  10. Add oil to a medium-sized pot and heat on your stovetop to 325°F.
  11. Add 5-6 shells into the oil and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Repeat until all of the stuffed shells are cooked.
  12. Remove from the oil and place on a napkin to drain.
  13. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1717mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 31g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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