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olive garden stuffed shells

Copycat Olive Garden Giant Stuffed Shells

Olive Garden introduced new giant features and one was the Giant Stuffed Shells. They’re stuffed with four cheeses and then topped with marinara and alfredo sauce. And they are delicious!!! But you don’t have to go to Olive Garden to get them – you can have them in your own home!
3.92 from 294 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 911 kcal


  • 16 jumbo shells
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella/provolone mixture (or 1/2 cup of each) shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan shredded/grated
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 15 oz marinara
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter

Alfredo Sauce

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 cup Parmesan grated
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella/provolone mix shredded


  • Preheat oven to 400 
  • Cook shells 12 min (package said 9 but I felt like they needed longer)
    16 jumbo shells
  • In a bowl, mix ricotta, mozzarella/provolone, Parmesan basil, oregano and garlic. Stir well.
    15 oz ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella/provolone mixture (or 1/2 cup of each), 1 cup Parmesan, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic
  • Rinse pasta with cool water
  • Spray 8×8 pan with nonstick spray (I love this Rachael Ray baking dish
  • Add 1 cup marinara to bottom of pan
    15 oz marinara
  • Stuff shells with 2 tbsp filling per shell – use small spoon or hands
  • Place each shell on top of the marinara 
  • Cover with aluminum foil and Bake at 400 for 20 min
  • In skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter – add breadcrumbs – stir until toasty brown 1-2 min – spoon into a small bowl and set aside. 
    1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp butter
  • When 5 minutes left on shells – In same skillet melt 6 Tbsp butter
    6 tbsp butter
  • Add garlic and saute for 1 minute
    1 tsp garlic
  • Slowly stir in half and half and both cheeses 
    3/4 cup half and half, 1 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup mozzarella/provolone mix
  • Stir together until all cheese are melted and sauce is smooth
  • Remove shells from oven
  • Spoon alfredo sauce over top and around shells
  • Add a little more marinara on top
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs and any extra Parmesan cheese on top
  • Broil on high for 2-3 min until cheese browns slightly



Can stuffed shells be frozen?
Yes! My dad used to make recipes like this up ahead of time and freeze them so I would be able to make dinner after school. My recommendation for this would be to make the stuffed shells with the marinara – and freeze BEFORE you bake. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and/or put a lid on your baking dish and freeze.
When you’re ready to make them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then they’re ready to bake per the rest of the recipe.
Can stuffed shells be made ahead of time?
Yes – you can make the shells up to the point you’re going to bake – and put them in the fridge – then they’re ready to bake whenever you’re 20 minutes from starving!
How do I reheat stuffed shells?
You can either reheat in the oven or if you have an air fryer with a reheat/oven setting – around 300 degrees, covered – for 10-20 min depending on how much you’re reheating. (Air fryer is closer to 10 min). Or you can always microwave!
Why are my stuffed shells watery?
You likely didn’t drain your pasta enough – keep that in mind next time – gently shake them before you stuff.
Why are my stuffed shells hard?
You might not have cooked the pasta to al dente enough. When you bite into it – it should still have a little bite – but not crunch in any way.
Can I add meat to the shells?
Yes! My mom and dad always sauteed italian sausage and then mixed that in with the cheeses before you stuff the shells. I left that out to stay true to the OG dish – but that’s my preference. You could also use ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey!
Can I use jarred marinara and alfredo?
Sure! It’s all about making it convenient for you – I think alfredo is so quick it’s worth making it from scratch – but marinara I leave to the experts. haha
Do I need to use both marinara and alfredo?
No – if you prefer one to the other – go with that – I love the combination!


Serving: 4shellsCalories: 911kcalCarbohydrates: 74.3gProtein: 44.3gFat: 49.3gSaturated Fat: 29.3gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1409mgPotassium: 615mgFiber: 5.7gSugar: 13.9gCalcium: 896mgIron: 4mg
Keyword copycat, olive garden, pasta
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