No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells

Mediterranean Stuffed Shells, with No Tomato Sauce, are stuffed with lamb, spinach, fresh oregano, grated cheese and baked in a lamb herb gravy.

No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells
No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Who doesn’t love pasta!

Jumbo pasta shells lend themselves to stuffing with an endless array of fillings, easy to prepare, serves a crowd easily and always kid friendly!

Stuffed shells are also a great way to take advantage of a ‘meal prep’ day simply because you can make so many of these and freeze in small batches.

When it’s time to eat them, simply reheat later when you don’t have time to cook. 

My stuffed shells are always a favorite meal to drop for my kids and their busy young families.

Always appreciated by mom and dad, and grandma gets to be a hero with the little ones. 

Stuffed and Ready to bake or drop off to a friend!
Stuffed And Ready To Bake, Freeze Or Drop Off To A Friend!

Why No Tomato Sauce?

Let’s face it, not everyone likes tomato sauce, even though we’ve been conditioned to accept that it goes on every Pizza or Meat Sauce.

Imagine my surprise, when my youngest grandchild, by the age of five, tells me he doesn’t like tomato sauce on his pizza!

Additionally, my grown daughter, informs me she tastes meds for Acid Reflux and tomatoes are totally off her list.

Finally, I myself, latched onto a personal quest for internal health after I turned 65, and started a Blood Type Diet.

Concurrently, as I am a B-Blood type, tomatoes are off my list.

And so, I have found lots of creative ways to make dishes, usually with tomato sauce, now without!

Mediterranean Stuffed Shells With Gravy

For my Mediterranean stuffed shells, I have chosen some of the best flavors of my heritage to stuff them with.

I have used lamb, spinach, a good sheep milk cheese, fresh oregano and my two favorite spices, sumac and black cumin (not to be confused with brown cumin).

my garden to table passion
My Garden To Table Passion

Mediterranean Shells vs Tomato Sauce Shells

Tomato sauce ain’t the only pasta sauce in town folks!

In this easy to prepare recipe I make a roux of flour and butter, and pour the juices from the lightly cooked lamb, spinach and lemon juice to make a gravy. 

Relying on my garden to table herbs, either fresh from the garden or dried after the summer months, is what flavors many of my sauces.

Brown lamb gravy stuffed into these pasta shells with melted cheese on top, a few colorful sweet peppers too if you’d like, will fast replace tomato sauce.

Think of all the ‘kids’ stains you won’t have to remove later! Just sayin (wink).

stuffed pasta shells with tomato
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tomato

Mediterranean Stuffed Shells With Tomato Sauce

But… If you’re absolutely in love with Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tomato sauce, I sneak veggies into my filling, hide them with the tomato sauce and cheese, and the kids are happy and healthy!

The color of tomato sauce is great for hiding green veggies.

In fact, I made this version of my Mediterranean stuffed shells on the PBS cooking competition; The Great American Recipe and it was a hit! Episode 3 is where you will find me making this recipe.

Episode 3 The Great American Recipe
Episode 3 The Great American Recipe

How To Make Stuffed Shells?

Three fast and easy parts to making the shells:

  • Cook the shells, toss in a little oil and herbs and set out until ready
  • Quick sauté the filling, make the roux to add to the filling which fast becomes a scrumptious gravy
  • Stuff, top with cheese and bake… or freeze!
sauté filling adding lemon juice
Saute Filling Adding Lemon Juice
adding lamb and herb juices to the roux to make a gravy
Adding Lamb & Herb Juices To The Roux To Make A Gravy
stuffed and ready to bake
Stuffed And Ready To Bake

Ingredients Needed

  • Jumbo pasta shells
  • Ground lamb
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Fresh oregano
  • Sumac
  • Black cumin – not to be confused with brown cumin
  • Spinach
  • Mini Tri-colored peppers
  • Lemon juice
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Pecorino cheese
stuffed shell ingredients
Stuffed Shell Ingredients

Equipment Needed

  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Large sauté pan with a lid
  • Small saute pan for making the roux
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Strainer for draining the pasta
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small spoon for filling the shells
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Citrus press
  • Garlic press
  • Baking dish
  • Foil
  • Stovetop or burner
  • Oven


While these stuffed shells will satisfy both your taste buds and your tummy, you may also like a slice of bread to go with it.

Not just any slice of bread but this dark, grainy healthy Spelt and Potato Bread I make often for charcuterie, grilled cheese, or just for dunking in my soups and stews!

spelt potato bread
Spelt Potato Bread
No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells

No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells

No tomato sauce Mediterranean jumbo shells are stuffed with lamb, spinach, fresh oregano, pecorino, baked in lamb and herb gravy.
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Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: No Tomato Sauce Mediterranean Stuffed Shells
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 763kcal


  • Large stock pot
  • Baking dish


  • 24 oz Jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 lb Ground lamb beef, turkey or bison
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves crushed
  • 6 Fresh oregano stems
  • 1 tbsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp Black Cumin Nigella seed powder
  • 1 lb Spinach chopped
  • 8 Mini Tri-colored peppers thinly sliced round
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice about 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 4 oz Pecorino Cheese sliced, or other mozzarella


  • Cook the pasta shells according to directions, drain, toss lightly in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 crushed clove of garlic and salt to taste.
    Lay them out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
  • In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped onions. Add the lamb, chopped leaves from 3 stems of oregano, salt, black cumin, sumac and remaining crushed garlic.
    Stir and cook until the lamb is no longer pink.
  • Add the lemon juice and chopped spinach. Put a lid on, shaking the pan a little to wilt the spinach.
    Open to stir, folding all the ingredients together.
    Put the lid on and remove from the burner.
  • In a small sauté pan, melt the butter on medium low and stir in the flour to make a roux (paste).
    Carefully drizzle some of the liquid from the pan with the cooked lamb, stirring the roux quickly.
    Transfer the roux into the pan with lamb and spinach, stirring the roux into the lamb.
    If a tablespoon of water is needed to deglaze the roux pan, stir around the pan and add that to the lamb as well. Mix the ingredients together.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In a baking pan, brush a little olive oil. Fill the cooked pasta shells with the lamb and spinach filling setting them tightly together in the baking dish.
  • Place more oregano leaves into the tops of the stuffed shells, a slice of cheese in each shell and thinly sliced peppers if using them.
  • Cover lightly with foil and bake for 20-minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 763kcal
Mediterranean Stuffed Shells with Gravy and Peppers - No Tomato Sauce!
Mediterranean Stuffed Shells with Gravy and Peppers – No Tomato Sauce!
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