Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells

6 people
50 min

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These Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells are filled with ground beef, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and plenty of cheese of course. The creamy cheese sauce the shells are swimming in is loaded with diced pickled jalapeños for a tangy and spicy bite. Think mac and cheese meets Philly cheesesteak with a little kick.

icon Check out this recipe & more on my blog HERE: https://biteswithbri.com/philly-cheesesteak-stuffed-shells/

Turning classic dinner dishes into pasta dishes seems to be a recurring theme on BWB. Because pasta makes everything better, right? Check out my Butter Chicken Pasta! What is your favorite nontraditional pasta dish?


My husband seems to like everything better in pasta form, I mean can you blame him? So I have been having fun in the kitchen creating pasta dishes inspired by other non-pasta dishes. And I want to keep making more! Drop your ideas below!


These stuffed shells are my most recent pasta creation. Philly cheesesteak naturally translated into a pasta dish and here’s why.


Cheese and pasta? A match made in heaven. Almost every pasta dish involves some kind of cheese, even if it is just parmesan on top. So I decided to go with cheese bechamel sauce for this dish. It is very reminiscent of a mac and cheese sauce.


And then there is the steak. I used ground beef instead because it gives the same flavor profile. It is also easier to find and typically cheaper than shaved ribeye, which is what is traditionally used for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.


Needless to say this was an easy dish to turn into a pasta and it is so good. I loaded it up with mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions, so there are some veggies to balance out the cheese. The pickled jalapeños add the perfect amount of acidity and spice that this dish is begging for. Hope you enjoy!! xx


Highlights

  • Philly cheesesteak meets macaroni and cheese
  • Loaded with ground beef, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion
  • Homemade cheese sauce with jalapeños
  • Cheddar cheese cubes melted on top
  • The perfect kid friendly dinner
  • Make ahead & bake later


Ingredients

  • Ground Beef: You can swap this for ground chicken or turkey for a leaner option. They still taste delicious, just not as much like a cheesesteak.
  • White Onion: Swap for yellow onion.
  • White American Cheese: This is the processed cheese that you can find in the deli section. If they only have yellow american, this works fine too. It makes for a smooth and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Jalapeños: These do not make the dish too spicy. They add some acidity, which I like. You can omit them if you are worried they will be too hot.


Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the .


Instructions

before you start . . .

  • Prep all the veggies. I recommend cutting the mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper into smaller pieces (a fine dice).
  • Shred the cheese. You already know what is coming. Buy blocks of cheese and shred it yourself! Shredded cheese is coated in starch and does not come together as well in sauces.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


Step 1: Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Lastly, add the peppers, onions, garlic, worcestershire, and ketchup. Cook until most of the water has evaporated from the vegetables.


Step 2: While the meat finishes cooking, cook the pasta one minute less than the instructions on the package in salted water. (For reference, mine says to cook for 9 minutes, so I boil it for 8 minutes).

TIP - You do not want excess water to thin out the sauce while these bake.


TIP - The pasta will continue to soften in the oven and you do not want it to become mushy.


Step 3: In a medium saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. It should come to a simmer.


Step 4: Turn the heat to low. Stir in the salt, american, and shredded cheddar cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the jalapeños.

TIP - The sauce should just coat the back of a spoon.


Step 5: Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour about 1 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom. Stuff each shell with beef filling. Place into the dish.


Step 6: Pour the remaining sauce on top.

Step 7: Sprinkle the cheddar cheese cubes on top.


Step 8: Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to bubble.

Expert Tips & Recipe Notes

  • Use american cheese. This processed cheese makes a great base for every cheese sauce. It helps the sauce not become too gritty.
  • Shred the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking agents. This is not ideal when melting cheese or making a cheese sauce. So I highly recommend shredding your own with a box grater.
  • Cook off the excess water from the vegetables. The vegetables (especially the mushrooms) release a lot of water when heated. You want to cook off this so that the casserole does not become watery when baked.
  • Salt the pasta water. Always generously salt your pasta water. It is crucial to bring out the other flavors (about 1 - 1 ½ Tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta).
  • Do not overcook the pasta. Since the pasta will continue cooking in the sauce when it is baked, cook the shells one minute less than recommended on the package. Typically there is a range for the cook time on the package, I always recommend boiling it for the shortest time.
  • Do not overheat the bechamel sauce. The sauce will continue to thicken as it simmers. You do not want it to become too thick or it will get gloopy.

FAQs

How do you store leftover shells?Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. They reheat well in the microwave.

Can you make this ahead of time?Yes, you can make it up to one day in advance. Complete the recipe as instructed through step 7. Let the casserole cool as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate. Bake for around 40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and it is heated through.

What do you serve with these stuffed shells?I recommend serving this with a simple salad like this Kale Crunch Salad and some bread.

What is on a real Philly cheesesteak?A traditional Philly cheesesteak is a sandwich that has shaved ribeye steak, onions/peppers, and cheese piled onto a sub roll.

What is bechamel sauce used for?A bechamel sauce is the base for a lot of cream sauces and gravies. It is a great base for cheese sauces.


Related Recipes

Southern Pot Roast

Green Chile Beef Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Baked Walking Taco Casserole Recipe with Enchilada Sauce

Easy Carne Asada Quesadillas (Cast Iron)

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells

Recipe details

  • 6  people
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Ingredients

Beef Filling

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound 90/10 ground beef*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 ounces baby bella mushrooms, diced finely
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1 white onion, diced finely*
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 28 jumbo shells, about 8 ounces

Cheese Sauce

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups nonfat milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) white american cheese*
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup diced pickled jalapeños*
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed

Instructions


Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Lastly, add the peppers, onions, garlic, worcestershire, and ketchup. Cook until most of the water has evaporated from the vegetables.
While the meat finishes cooking, cook the pasta one minute less than the instructions on the package in salted water. (For reference, mine says to cook for 9 minutes, so I boil it for 8 minutes).
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. It should come to a simmer.
Turn the heat to low. Stir in the salt, american, and shredded cheddar cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the jalapeños.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour about 1 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom. Stuff each shell with beef filling. Place into the dish.
Pour the remaining sauce on top.
Sprinkle the cheddar cheese cubes on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to bubble.

Tips

  • Ground Beef: You can swap this for ground chicken or turkey for a leaner option. They still taste delicious, just not as much like a cheesesteak.
  • White Onion: Swap for yellow onion.
  • White American Cheese: This is the processed cheese that you can find in the deli section. If they only have yellow american, this works fine too. It makes for a smooth and creamy cheese sauce.
  • Jalapeños: These do not make the dish too spicy. They add some acidity, which I like. You can omit them if you are worried they will be too hot.
  • Use american cheese. This processed cheese makes a great base for every cheese sauce. It helps the sauce not become too gritty.
  • Shred the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking agents. This is not ideal when melting cheese or making a cheese sauce. So I highly recommend shredding your own with a box grater.
  • Cook off the excess water from the vegetables. The vegetables (especially the mushrooms) release a lot of water when heated. You want to cook off this so that the casserole does not become watery when baked.
  • Salt the pasta water. Always generously salt your pasta water. It is crucial to bring out the other flavors (about 1 - 1 ½ Tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta).
  • Do not overcook the pasta. Since the pasta will continue cooking in the sauce when it is baked, cook the shells one minute less than recommended on the package. Typically there is a range for the cook time on the package, I always recommend boiling it for the shortest time.
  • Do not overheat the bechamel sauce. The sauce will continue to thicken as it simmers. You do not want it to become too thick or it will get gloopy.

Brianna May
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Comments

  • Amanda Gerow Amanda Gerow on Aug 03, 2021

    This is the pasta night twist of my dreams. Looks amazing!

  • RoHai RoHai on Aug 20, 2021

    I am from Philly. THIS IS JUST WRONG!!!!! It might taste good but it is NOT a cheesesteak, no way, no how. Visit and eat one, you'll understand what I'm saying.

    • Brianna May Brianna May on Aug 23, 2021

      You are right these stuffed shells are most definitely not a cheesesteak! :) I thought the photos made that pretty obvious, but thanks for sharing your observation!

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