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
- 7 quart crockpot (linked below)
- Saucepan (linked below)
- 8 by 8 inch baking dish (linked below)
- Mixing bowl (linked below)
- Colander (linked below)
- 24 jumbo stuffing shells
- 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
- 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.
- Gently combine the filling ingredients in a medium sized 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 and saucy. 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!
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!
Step 1-4: Bake the salmon and partially cook the shells, only until pliable, then prep filling and sauce.
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 5: Pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom of a 6-7 quart crockpot then place the stuffed shells on top.
Step 5 continued: Cover the shells with the remaining sauce, then cook on low for several hours until the shells are al-dente and the filling is hot.
Add cheese to the cooked shells, if you wish, and enjoy!
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.
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