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Stuffed Pasta Shells with Nduja and Goats Cheese

Baked stuffed pasta shells filled with spicy nduja paste, crunchy red peppers and salty goat’s cheese cooked in the easiest tomato of sauces.

Whilst this dish does take around 45 minutes to make the pasta and sauce can be prepared up to a day in advance. Then all you have to do is bring it all together and throw it in the oven.

Overhead skillet baked stuffed pasta shells with goat's cheese and nduja in a tomato sauce.

Goats Cheese and Nduja Stuffed Conchiglie

Baked and stuffed pasta shells may seem like a relatively modern and “daddy” dish, but it has a pretty long-standing tradition in Sicilian cuisine.

Like most of my food, it shares little in common with traditional ideas, my food is always representative of me and the food combinations that I love.

Here we take cooked pasta shells and stuff them with a combination of spicy nduja paste and goat’s cheese.

Nduja is the spreadable “sausage” from Calabria, it is the star of by nduja pasta recipe and whilst it is expensive a little goes a very long way! It has a glorious mellow spicy flavour and a beautiful mouthfeel.

I pair this with goat’s cheese, not a populist choice, but if you love that sharp salty vibe then you will love this dish… and if you love this dish then my goat’s cheese cannelloni will be right up your street!

Finally, they are baked in the simplest of tomato sauces. One that is based on the one that I use in my fagioli all’uccelletto recipe, that one is flavoured with sage, whereas here I use basil.

The combination of crispy bits, soft bits and huge flavours make this a regular feature on our dinner table!

Stuffed pasta shells with goat's cheese and nduja in a tomato sauce being served.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use goat’s cheese?

No, although I would urge you to give it a try just once, I love the big and bold flaovur that it brings to the dish.

You could opt for the ever-popular ricotta, which I personally find a bit bland, but you could give it a flavour boost with lots of parmesan cheese.

Pairing these stuffed shells with spinach is a classic, as I do in my spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Do I have to use Ndjuja?

No, I’ve substituted the meat element of this dish with everything from salami to leftover bolognese sauce!

If you are planning to use salami soften it in the pan to get the oils flowing first, it gives the tomato sauce an awesome base.

Essentially, I would encourage you to use this recipe as a leaping-off point. After you have made my version of course!

What is passata?

A question often asked by visitors from the US and Canada, passata is the Italian name for sieved tomatoes.

In the US and Canada, the product is often labelled as tomato puree.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, absolutely! I will quite often make the sauce and prepare the stuffed pasta shells in the morning and then cook them in the evening.

I do keep them separate though and just put them together before baking in the oven.

Baked stuffed pasta shells with goat's cheese and nduja in a tomato sauce with garlic bread.

Serving Suggestions

These stuffed pasta shells need a couple of sides to turn them into the perfect comforting meal.

The first is some garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread to mop up that wonderfully thick tomato and basil sauce.

The second is a nice side salad, I have to confess to being lazy with salad and I generally pick up a bag from the supermarket. Cooking for two means that buying different leaves often leads to a lot of waste.

I tend to dress my side salads with a basic citrusy lemon vinaigrette with lots of black pepper.

Skillet baked stuffed pasta shells with goat's cheese and nduja in a tomato sauce.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 28cm or 11″ oven-proof skillet or frying pan.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • Colander.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Teaspoons for filling the stuffed shells, this is optional and I prefer to use my fingers.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
Baked stuffed pasta shells with goats cheese, peppers and ndjua.
Yield: 2 Servings

Goats and Nduja Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

I love stuffed pasta shells and these glorious treats are stuffed with nduja paste, shallots, red peppers and goat's cheese then baked in a skillet in a tomato and basil sauce.


  • 175g (6oz) Large/Giant Pasta Shells
  • 75g (2½oz) Nduja
  • 150g (5oz) Goats Cheese
  • 70g (2 Small) Banana Shallots
  • 1 Small Red Bell Pepper
  • 400g (1⅔-1¾ Cups) Tomato Passata
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 24 (Large) Fresh Basil Leaves (plus extra for garnish)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Coarse Dried Breadcrumbs


  1. Bring a 20cm or 8" saucepan of well-salted water (I use 1½ teaspoons of salt in a pan this size) to a boil and cook the pasta shells until al dente. Then drain and cool until you can handle them.
  2. Cut the shallot in half, peel it and then dice it as finely as you can.
  3. Remove the seeds and the core from the red pepper and then cut it into a 5-6mm (¼") dice.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic cloves as finely as you can.
  5. Shred the basil leaves as thinly as you can.
  6. Heat a 28cm or 11" oven-proof frying pan or skillet over a medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes, if the garlic begins to colour reduce the heat a little.
  7. Pour in the tomato passata, reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to cook gently whilst you stuff the pasta shells.
  8. When the pasta shells are cool enough to handle stuff them, start with a little of the nduja, then sprinkle in a little of the diced shallot followed by the goat's cheese, repeat this with the remaining pasta shells.
  9. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the shredded basil.
  10. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells on the sauce, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs then transfer to the oven and bake at 200°C or 400°F for 20 minutes.


If the pasta looks like it is getting a little too crispy at the edges cover the pan with a lid or some foil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 721Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 437mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 29g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Monday 11th of June 2018

Would you be able to convert the grams and ml into ozs, please? Will be trying this very, very soon. Thanks for the recipe!!

Brian Jones

Monday 11th of June 2018

Hi Annette...

Sorry, I really don't think in imperial measurements and I find automatic converters for websites pretty poor as they go well beyond metric to imperial and mess with all sorts of parts of the recipe.

Here is a website that is about the most reliable I have found when it comes to converting, just type your weight into any box and it will pop up for you in imperial measures. Enjoy :)


Friday 15th of September 2017

Nicely done, looks delicious and mouthwatering.

Brian Jones

Monday 18th of September 2017

Thank you.

Boyan Minchev

Monday 10th of July 2017

Goat cheese is my favorite cheese, and I can wait to try this amazing recipe. I want to say that the pictures you put in this post are incredibly delicious :) Thank you for sharing this dish with us.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 11th of July 2017

So glad you like them, they are super fun and so simple.

Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love.

Saturday 4th of February 2017

You had me at goat's cheese. It's one of my favorites and I can't wait to try this for dinner this week!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 7th of February 2017

I love this meal, super simple and stupidly tasty... I am always shocked to hear that there are people out there that dislike goats cheese, there is nowt as strange as folk ;)


Tuesday 17th of January 2017

OMG I am SO making this this weekend! Goat cheese is my absolute favorite!

Brian Jones

Thursday 19th of January 2017

Mine too, apparently there are some folk out there that don't like goats cheese... Weirdos ;) :D

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