Give leftover pulled pork a new lease of life in another wonderfully comforting dish. These pulled pork stuffed shells are a delicious combination of flavorful pork, cheesy goodness, all nestled in tomato sauce. So good!
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Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like some ooey, gooey, cheese to give you the warm and fuzzies. Especially if it's in grilled cheese (like my eggplant spinach grilled cheese sandwich or "Jamin' Jamaican" chicken grilled cheese) or with pasta (like my cheesy orzo pasta bake or chard pesto and mozzarella orzo bake).
Add in some pulled pork as well, though, and you have some extra delicious comfort food.
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 it’s an easy, tasty and comforting combination.
How to make pulled pork stuffed shells
These stuffed shells are easy to make as all you do is:
- cook the pasta shells al dente
- saute the garlic in a little oil
- add the garlic and pork, mix then set aside to cool
- meanwhile, put most of the marinara/tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish
- once cool, mix the ricotta and half the mozzarella into the pork mixture
- fill the shells with the pork mixture and put in dish
- drizzle over rest of the marinara then top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Can you make these stuffed shells ahead of time?
In short - yes you can! Obviously the pulled pork is made ahead of time, but the whole dish can be prepared ahead as well.
Just make it as far as just before you put the final layer of cheese on, cover and refrigerate until needed. Then take it out to warm a little as you put the oven on, top with cheese and bake.
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 eg spinach, chard or kale.
- Instead of pulled pork, why not try some leftover pot roast or shredded chicken.
- 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!
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 cheese dinner idea you’ll come back to again and again.
Tools to make this dish:
I used my Le Creuset Stoneware 8in Square Dish to make this recipe which was a great fit (affiliate link)
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Looking for more comforting pasta dishes? Try these!
- Creamy lemon chicken pasta bake
- Scallop pasta with white wine and garlic
- Gnocchi with pork and fennel
- Youvetsi (Greek beef or lamb and orzo stew)
- Plus get more main dishes ideas in the archives.
Pulled pork stuffed shells
- 6 oz large pasta shells (6 oz is approx ½ box)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 cup pulled pork
- 2 cups arugula lightly packed
- ½ cup mozzarella shredded
- ½ cup ricotta
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 ¾ 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. Next 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 ½ of the mozzarella (ie ¼ cup) with the ricotta, add the pork mixture and mix.
- Put approximately 1 ¼ 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.