Sausage and Shells is a quick and easy one-skillet dinner. Comforting pasta, melty cheese, and sausage combine for a satisfying meal.
A cozy, comforting pasta dish makes for the perfect dinner on a cold winter day. And, a pasta dish made in one skillet is even better. After all, have you ever heard anyone complain about having fewer dishes to wash? Definitely not!
This pasta dish can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. And while the pasta cooks in the sauce, an easy green salad can be tossed together, and a hearty dinner is ready in no time.
How to make
Start by browning the sausage in a skillet. I used sage flavored pork sausage but any sausage works fine - plain or Italian, chicken or turkey. Remove the sausage and add the onions to the skillet and saute until slightly softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Next, add the sauce, water, pasta, and oregano. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally. The pasta will absorb the liquid as it cooks. If it appears that there is too much water, continue simmering uncovered. Cook until the pasta is al dente and the water is absorbed. This takes about 15 minutes. Add the sausage back to the skillet along with the cubed mozzarella cheese. Over low heat, cover for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Skillet sausage shells can also be prepped in advance and reheated. Prepare per recipe and then let cool, cover, and refrigerate. To reheat, place the foil-covered skillet in a cold oven and heat oven to 350-375 degrees. Once the oven is at temperature, allow another 15 minutes for the pasta to be hot throughout. While the pasta is reheating, you can use the hot oven to bake up some garlic bread.
I like to serve this dish with a simple green salad and sometimes garlic bread too. It's that simple! One dish, less than 30 minutes, and clean up is a breeze!
Skillet Sausage and Shells
- 16 ounces pork sausage
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 24 ounces pasta or marinara sauce
- 1 ½ cups water
- 8 ounces medium shells, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
- In a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet, set over medium heat, brown and crumble the pork sausage until cooked throughout. Remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving a small amount of drippings in the pan.
- To the skillet, add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in pasta sauce, water, oregano, and uncooked pasta. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage back to the pan along with the cubed mozzarella cheese. Stir to incorporate
- Add the sausage back to the pan along with the cubed mozzarella cheese. Stir to incorporate. Cover and reduce heat to low for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. Serve directly from the skillet, family-style.