Cheesy Sausage and Tomato Shells

Cheesy Sausage and Tomato Shells

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I have a simple dinner recipe for you today, ladies and gentlemen. 
Because dinner time sure does come around a lot, don’t you think?

Like, daily even. 

And I happen to have it on good authority that making a fabulous tasting meal for your family in a short amount of time, puts a Big Shiny Grin on your face. 

And why shouldn’t it! Tasty food on the table….AND time left over to help with homework, run kids to soccer practice, band-aid a skinned knee or two, fold the laundry, kiss your sweetheart, save the world and paint your toenails. 

Big Shiny Grin, here we come. 🙂

Cheesy Sausage and Tomato Shells
Time: 15 min. prep + 25 min. baking 
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe adapted from Miss Paula Dean
***NOTE: This recipe makes a lot. It will feed my family of seven, twice. You could easily pour it into two 9×13 pans, cover one with aluminum foil and pop it into the freezer for another meal.*** 
1 (16 ounce) box elbow macaroni or medium shell pasta
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 pound sausage
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
1 t cumin
1 t basil, dried
1 t oregano, dried
salt and pepper
2-3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1. Get yourself a nice box of pasta. Elbow macaroni or medium shells work well. 

2. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Salt it well, and pour in your dried pasta. Cook it according to package directions. Don’t let it get over cooked. Al Dente is the texture you are looking for. Which has nothing to do with Al your Dentist and everything to do with cooking pasta that still has a nice firmness to it, without being mushy and soggy.

Once the pasta is cooked pour the contents of the pot into a strainer resting nicely in your sink. Pour warm water over the top of the pasta and let it hang out there for a bit. 

3. While you pasta cooks, chop up one green pepper, one onion and 4 cloves of garlic. 
4. Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T of olive oil to the pan.  Add the chopped veggies and cook them until the onions are translucent.
 Add the sausage and cook until browned.

5. Open up 2 cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes and pour the contents into a medium sized bowl. 

Stick some kitchen scissors into the bowl and cut the tomatoes up into large chunks. 
6. Pour the chopped up tomatoes into the skillet with the sausage and veggies. 
7. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin, dried basil and dried oregano. 

Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the top and give it all a nice stir to combine. 

8. Pour the cooked pasta into the skillet
and stir it into the tomato mixture. 
9. Spray a 9×13 with cooking spray and pour the pasta/tomato mixture of bliss into it. Sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese. 
10. Bake the yummy casserole at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. 

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    April 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for a dinner idea for tonight!

  2. 2
    April 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Ohh yum, this looks simple and delicious. Gotta try this one!

    • 3
      February 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      That’s really sad news. Mosnews was, when you got past some of the fifufler articles, one of the more useful English language news sites.I hope all the staff there manage to find new work.

  3. 4
    April 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Awesome idea Jamie! Thank you for the nice dinner plan!

    • 5
      April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      I just looked over the ingredients again and I think this would make an awesome Meal in a Jar recipe. I'm going to have to give it a try using freeze dried stuff and let you know my results. Wouldn't that be fun?

  4. 6
    April 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I cant wait to cook dinner tonight 🙂

  5. 7
    April 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    This looks so good! As far as I'm concerned, anything with sausage is a winner!

  6. 8
    April 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    oh my goodness, this looks so good! =)

  7. 9
    April 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Looks DELICIOUS!!! Can't wait to make it 🙂 Thanks sooo much for sharing. LOVE LOVE LOVE simple recipes that I know my whole family will enjoy!

  8. 10
    April 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Looks amazing! I know my family would love this, thanks for sharing.

  9. 11
    April 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    you have such wonderful family recipes. keep up the great work, your blog is super beautiful and inspiring 🙂

  10. 12
    April 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Made this for Dinner last night.. My husband LOVED it! He took some to work for lunch today and a bunch of his coworkers asked for the recipe! You were right tho.. it makes a TON! I ended up freezing a 13×9 of it for later. Thanks for all your awesome recipes! I LOVE your blog!

  11. 13
    April 18, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was awesome. My 7 year daughter even loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!


  12. 14
    April 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    My husband will love this one. I don't know how you find the time to come up with these great recipes, but I sure am glad you do!

  13. 15
    April 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I have a quick question…are you using breakfast Jimmy Dean? Thanks 🙂

    • 16
      January 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      This is answering an old question, but maybe it will help someone else.
      I used the sausage that is sold in one pound rolls sealed in thick plastic wrap, like prepackaged ground beef. It is usually found near prepackaged bacon, hotdogs, and cold cuts. Jimmy Dean is one name brand in the U.S. It comes in different varieties (spicy, mild, Italian, etc.).

  14. 17
    April 19, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    yes I have a question about the sausage too. i don't use it often and all I know is breakfast sausage.

  15. 18
    April 23, 2012 at 6:04 am

    I have to make this. Looks like a perfect rainy day meal.

  16. 19
    April 24, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was a HUGE hit!! My entire family loved it. This is the third recipe that I've tried and we've loved each one.

  17. 20
    May 7, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Yummy! My family enjoyed this tonight. Our second pan is in the freezer waiting for another meal :)Thank you!

  18. 21
    May 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

    We're having this for dinner tonight. It's in the oven right now and smells divine!

  19. 22
    January 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Im making this now for my family and also taking some to a friends family. Looking Forward to it! I found you on pinterest and pinned several of your recipes! I am having trouble linking to the recipe pages from pinterest though:(

  20. 23
    July 17, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Hi there Jamie,

    Thanks for the receipe, i tried it…it was awesome….but to be honest…i didnt get the canned tomatoes…so i made a tomatoe base myself and all the rest was as it is….and since we are indians, our food need a lot of spicy stuff…we added green chillies instead of green peppers…It turned our great…Thank you so much.
    Regards Vrushali

  21. 24
    May 21, 2018 at 5:26 am

    This recipe is delicious! Big hit and highly recommended!

    Congratulations on your sons wedding! They look so happy! God bless!

  22. 25
    August 10, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Sometimes this is also known as ‘goulash”? You can use just ground beef instead of sausage, but then you would want more seasonings ? Am I right ?? This looks like total comfort food–and I need some comfort soon !! 🙂

    • 26
      August 13, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Yes, if you use ground beef you would definitely want to increase the seasoning.
      Best of luck!

  23. 27
    August 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Do you use jimmy dean or Italian sausage? Thanks

    • 28
      August 15, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks for your question. I used ground Italian sausage. Hope this helps.
      Best of luck!

  24. 29
    Joan Montroy
    August 7, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for the delicious recipe. Shared a pan with several neighbors and they loved it. Does make a lot and I’m looking forward to having the left overs another evening. I would bet the flavors are even better the 2nd night.

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