French onion stuffed shells for the win today!
These are savory, sweet, warm, cheesy and cozy to make all of your winter dreams come true.
Well, it’s been a little heavy over here with the comfort foods! I can’t help it. Snow, cold winter, staying at home – it’s the perfect combo for delicious, comforting meals. It started with the sun dried tomato gnocchi and morphed into this amazing mess of a dish.
And I bet you were thinking I left my french onion obsession back in 2021 where it belongs!
Um, no. I did not.
But there’s a good reason for it!
Enter, french onion stuffed shells.
Oh my WORD.
These are true french onion stuffed shells, just like the soup. This time, I didn’t add sweet potatoes or chicken or even spinach (though I wouldn’t mind some greens!). These are warm and cheesy and perfectly comforting and remind me so much of that wonderful, cozy soup.
Slow caramelized onions. Gruyere cheese. Soft pasta shells. Ricotta and parm. A quick little french onion pan sauce that may as well be the soup.
I’d say we’re all set for the month!
Here’s how we do it!
The filling is a classic ricotta one – but loaded with tons of caramelized onions. That gets stuffed in the soft pasta shells. The shells then take a nap in a lovely little caramelized onion sauce. They are covered with a blanket of cheese and crunchy breadcrumbs and baked until bubbly and melty.
Pretty darn easy.
These are unlike any stuffed shells I’ve had before. They are incredible. Yes, the dish kind of reminds me of my french onion chicken lasagna rollups, but this isn’t quite as time intensive or high maintenance. It does require a little work, but you can prep it ahead of time too. And leftovers are wildly delish.
I know I’ve used that word about six times already in regards to how good these taste but I can’t help it. Someone find me a thesaurus!
I’ll wait while you make a pan of these. xo
French Onion Stuffed Shells
Print French Onion Stuffed Shells
- 4 sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces jumbo pasta shells, you need about 20 shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- ⅓ cup cream
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, for topping
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, for topping
- fresh parsley or thyme for topping
Heat the butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions with a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme. It’s important to season each layer of cooking here! Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize, about 30 minutes. Be sure to watch them closely so they don’t burn! Turn down the heat if needed and continue to stir. Once caramelized, stir in the garlic. Turn off the heat once finished, but leave them in the pan.
While the onions are cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta shells according to the directions. Once cooked, drain them and place them on a baking sheet or plate to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt, pepper and dried thyme. Take half of the caramelized onions from the pan and stir them into the ricotta mixture. This is your filling!
Fill each shell with the filling, stuffing it full but not overflowing.
Turn the heat to medium-low under the remaining onions in the pan. Stir in the tablespoon of flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the stock while stirring. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes – the mixture will thicken a bit. Stir in the cream. Turn off the heat and place the shells open-side up in the french onion sauce. Top with the mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately with extra parmesan and fresh herbs on top.
Oh dear lord. LOVE.