Slow Cooker Salmon Stuffed Shells

These creamy shells are stuffed with salmon, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, then topped with a flavorful and creamy pink sauce for a delicious entree that is perfect for pasta and seafood lovers, and would also make an impressive date night dinner option if you are on a budget! These stuffed shells pair well with a fresh salad and/or bread sticks. See more notes and photos below the recipe.

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Slow cooker Salmon stuffed shells

Slow cooker Salmon stuffed shells

marilynpeight
These creamy stuffed shells with salmon can be made in the slow cooker and are a family favorite! The seafood flavor, combined with the creamy pink sauce and cheese filling makes a meal your seafood lovers will really love!
3 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 7 quart crockpot (linked below)
  • Saucepan (linked below)
  • 8 by 8 inch baking dish (linked below)
  • Mixing bowl (linked below)
  • Colander (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 24 jumbo stuffing shells

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yoghurt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old bay seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 3/4 lb. fresh salmon filet

For the pink sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter salted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour all purpose
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons marinara or pasta sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 dashes Old bay seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Place the salmon in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the fish reaches and internal temperature of 145 degrees and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Cook the shells in boiling water for roughly 5-7 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. Combine the filling ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan, then whisk in the flour until well combined and smooth. Add the milk to the saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the seasonings and marinara sauce until the sauce is an even pink color. Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a 7 quart crock pot, ensuring the bottom is evenly covered. Stuff shells with one heaping tablespoon of the filling and place on top of the pink sauce.
  • Pour the remainder of the sauce over the shells, ensuring they are well covered with sauce. Cook the shells on low for 2-4 hours until the shells are softened and the filling is hot (do not overcook, to prevent the shells from turning mushy). Add shredded mozzarella at the last 15 minutes of cooking, then cool slightly and enjoy!

Notes

Pasta can cook quickly in the crock pot. My stuffed shells done in a 7 quart crockpot are usually done between 2-3 hours. Any longer and the pasta becomes mushy. You will only need to cook the shells until they are al-dente and the filling is warmed through. Cooking times vary with crockpot size and strength, so be sure to keep checking your shells, if it is your first time making these creamy salmon stuffed shells. 
If your shells are done before the rest of your dinner sides, they can be kept on warm for 30-60 minutes. 
Keyword Slow cooker, Seafood, Salmon, Old bay, Stuffed shells.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for these Salmon stuffed shells:

  • 7 quart crockpot I use my 7 quart crockpot in a variety of recipes such as Pineapple citrus glazed ham and Chicken Taco soup.
  • Saucepan I use a small saucepan for the pink sauce in this recipe. The smaller the pan, the more space in your dish washer!
  • 8 by 8 inch baking dish The size of baking dish you need for baking the salmon can vary, depending on the size of your salmon filet. Generally, I simply stick to my 8 by 8 inch glass baking dish.
  • Mixing bowl A medium-small mixing bowl is needed for mixing up the creamy, 3- cheese filling for these stuffed shells.
  • Colander A colander makes draining the shells, after they are par-cooked, much easier!

If you prefer you can also bake these salmon stuffed shells. I love eating stuffed shells with a good salad or with fresh breadsticks!

Step 1: Place the salmon in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the fish reaches and internal temperature of 145 degrees and flakes easily with a fork.

Step 2: Cook the shells in boiling water for roughly 5-7 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. Combine the filling ingredients in a separate bowl.

Can canned salmon be used in these stuffed shells?

Although you could use canned salmon in this recipe and skip the baking process, I highly recommend using fresh salmon for a softer flavor and smoother filling.

Step 3: Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan, then whisk in the flour until well combined and smooth. Add the milk to the saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the seasonings and marinara sauce until the sauce is an even pink color. Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a 7 quart crock pot, ensuring the bottom is evenly covered. Stuff shells with one heaping tablespoon of the filling and place on top of the pink sauce.

Step 4: Pour the remainder of the sauce over the shells, ensuring they are well covered with sauce. Cook the shells on low for 2-4 hours until the shells are softened and the filling is hot (do not overcook, to prevent the shells from turning mushy).

Step 4 continued: Add shredded mozzarella at the last 15 minutes of cooking, then cool slightly and enjoy!

Salmon stuffed shells, slow cooker or baked:

I do find the slow cooker version of these shells to look a bit messier. If you have a busy day and need to prep dinner a few hours ahead of time, then the slow cooker version is a great option! However, If you wish to serve these to guests or for a special dinner you may prefer the baked Salmon stuffed shells.

Storage options for leftovers of these creamy salmon stuffed shells:

These salmon stuffed shells freeze well in an airtight container for 2-3 months. You can also keep the leftovers tightly wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat simply pop them into the microwave until heated through.

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