Prep time: 20–30 min.
Bake time: 30 min.
Slow cooker time: 3-6 hours
- 20-24 Jumbo shells
- 3/4 lb. fresh salmon or 14.75 oz. canned salmon, drained. *see note.
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional).
Note* Filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Once ready to use, give it a good stir and then add the salmon.
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 Tablespoons marinara or pasta sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash or two of Old Bay seasoning
Shredded Mozzarella for topping.
Note* Fresh salmon tastes better in stuffed shells (in my opinion), but if you are trying to stay within a budget and don’t mind a stronger fish flavor then the canned fish is a good option!
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- If using fresh salmon; Place salmon into a greased baking dish and drizzle olive oil over top, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove salmon from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then flake with a fork and remove the skin (and bones if any). If using canned salmon remove any bones and skin, then flake with a fork.
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al-dente, then drain with a colander and allow to cool a little before stuffing.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix filling ingredients and flaked fresh, or canned and drained, salmon. Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and allow to cook for another 30 seconds, then whisk in milk. Turn heat to medium-high and continue to stir frequently. Once sauce has thickened and is lump free, remove the sauce pan from heat and stir in salt and marinara/pasta sauce. Note* If the sauce is too thick you can stir in a little more milk until it is a creamy consistency.
- Pour 1/3 of the pink sauce into a 13 by 9 in pan. Stuff each shell with one heaping tablespoon of filling and then arrange them on top of the sauce. Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells ensuring they are evenly covered, then top with more mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese has melted and filling is hot. Cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy! Crock Pot method. 👇
Crock Pot Version:
- Mix filling and use the same process as above for Salmon. Cook the shells in boiling water for roughly 7 minutes (only until they are pliable enough to stuff because they will continue to cook in the Crock pot). Drain shells and allow to cool slightly before stuffing.
- Make the pink sauce but with 1.5 the above amount (because crock pot shells soak up a lot more liquid); 3 tablespoons butter 3 3/4 tablespoons flour, 3 cups milk, 4 1/2 tablespoons marinara/pasta sauce, 1/3 teaspoon salt, and Old Bay seasoning to taste. Follow above instructions for making sauce.
- Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a 7 quart crock pot, ensuring the bottom is well covered. Stuff shells with one heaping tablespoon of the filling and place on top of the sauce. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the shells, ensuring they are well covered with sauce. Cook the shells on low for 3-6 hours (newer crockpot models tend to cook faster, my scv700-s-br 7 quart had the shells quite well done by 4 hours and could have been done by 3 hrs). Add shredded mozzarella the last hour of cooking. Note* these shells can be safely kept on warm for an hour or two after they are cooked. Enjoy!