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Turkey and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

photo: Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

This take on classic stuffed shells features diced turkey in place of ground meat. Pine nuts, currants, and arugula add a crunchy-sweet-peppery burst in every bite.


  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb. 12 oz. ricotta (3 cups)
  • 12 oz. mozzarella, coarsely grated (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. finely chopped arugula
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes; more to taste
  • 2 cups diced (1/2 inch) cooked turkey
  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought marinara

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 660
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 300
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 15
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 145
  • Sodium (mg): 1190
  • Carbohydrates (g): 50
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Sugar (g): 10
  • Protein (g): 41


  • Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, and cook the shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Transfer the shells to the baking sheet in a single layer, and set aside.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, the pine nuts, 1/2 cup of the arugula, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano, the currants, garlic, egg, pepper flakes, and 3/4 tsp. salt until well combined. Gently fold in the turkey. Season to taste with salt and pepper flakes.
  • Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the marinara over the bottom of the baking dish. Fill each shell with 2 Tbs. of the filling (you will not use all of the shells), and transfer to the baking dish, arranging as many shells, open side up, in a single layer as comfortably fit. Spread 1-1/2 cups of the sauce evenly over the shells. Add the remaining filled shells on top, nestling them into any gaps. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over these shells. Top with 2 cups of the remaining mozzarella and the remaining 2 Tbs. Parmigiano.
  • Lightly oil one side of a piece of foil large enough to cover the dish. Cover the shells with the oiled side of the foil, and bake until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to broil, and broil until the cheese begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, and garnish with the remaining 2 Tbs. of arugula. Heat the remaining sauce, and pass at the table.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • SydneyG | 10/11/2017

    This was just lovely! -a great use for leftover turkey and a step above most dishes with leftovers. My whole family enjoyed it; the currants and pine nuts were a nice addition. I will certainly make this again.

  • spookysmom | 10/09/2017

    Made this for a dinner when the whole family was "in house". The reviews were very mixed -- most did not care for the flavor and texture of the pine nuts. (I did not include the currants in anticipation of their response.) I used store-roasted chicken (not leftover turkey). I'm told to stick with our regular recipe for stuffed shells.

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