Easy Pasta Recipe

Fast & Easy Recipe for Pasta Shells

Easy Pasta Recipe with Sea Shell Shaped PastaThis is likely to be the easiest pasta recipe ever!

My grandmother originally introduced all of us to this fast and easy recipe decades ago.  We prepare these pasta shells for every holiday meal and often throughout the year.

We have a very large family celebration for Thanksgiving.  In addition to the turkey, dressing, ham, potatoes, green beans and corn, we serve pasta.  It is a family favorite.  I even have one cousin who arrives at the door and before he greets everyone, he asks “are the shells ready?”

Because this recipe is so fast and easy, even if they were not ready upon his arrival, they would be in a matter of minutes.

I most often use the pasta shells, but I have also used elbow spaghetti and vermicelli or thin spaghetti when I didn’t have the shells on hand.   Either of those pasta shapes work with the recipe and are also delicious!


Easy Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Easy Pasta Recipe

Ingredients for Easy Pasta Recipe with Sea Shells Pasta

Note:  I am giving you the brand names simply because over the years, we have tried other brands of tomato sauce or shells and none have ever been as good.


Easy Pasta Recipe with Sea Shell Shaped PastaIngredients for My Easy Pasta Recipe

  • Ronco Sea Shells ~ 16 ounce bag
  • Hunts Tomato Sauce (100% Natural) ~ 15 ounce can or two 8 ounce cans
  • A Pat of Butter
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Step 1: Bring water to a boil. Add a little salt to water, if desired
  2. Step 2: Add the Shells to boiling water, turn burner down to a low boil and cook for 8 minutes.*
  3. Step 3: Remove from stove and completely drain all water from the pan of shells.
  4. Step 4: Add Tomato Sauce, Butter, and Pepper
  5. Step 5: Stir all together until Butter is completely melted and Serve.

Cooking shells for longer than 8 minutes will cause them to get too soft and mushy.

Easy Recipe with Sea Shell Pasta

As you can see, these are not the large pasta shells, nor are the smallest available.  Each shell is about the size of a nickel



Cooking Pasta Shells ~ Step by Step Photos

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Easy Recipe with Sea Shell Shaped Pasta


Recommended Pasta Shells and Tomato Sauce

Ronco Sea Shells and Hunts Tomato Sauce – I have tried other brands, but my family prefers Ronco and Hunts. I also own the strainer below and I love it! It has become quite a hit my home too.

 Ronco Large Sea Shells 16 oz. (pack of 12) Thank you for using our serviceCheck Price Hunt’s Tomato Sauce, 8 ozCheck Price Fred BIG BLUE Whale StrainerCheck Price


Originally posted 2016-06-14 17:10:33.



About the Author

I love cooking and I have been known to scurry around the kitchen, creating my own unique masterpieces. Creatively speaking there is not much I won't try and I have found one of my greatest joys in life is making our house a home. As a contributor on Cooking for the Holidays, I will be sharing my own recipes, cooking tips, and my love for working and playing in the kitchen! ...... Read More from this Author

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Fay says:

    I could eat pasta everyday I think. Easy recipe for a quick meal. I like the wishbone whale colander. Never saw anything like that; it sure would come in handy.

  2. I’m trying this quick and easy pasta recipe today! I have my 14-year-old grandson visiting and his very favorite food is spaghetti and/or any pasta dish! This sounds like a very simple (and delicious) lunch to fix for him.

    • Cynthia says:

      It is a fast and easy lunch dish Pat! I have prepared this pasta for lots of kids over the years and they all love it. One of my son’s friends used to come through the door requesting “shells” for lunch when they were little. Somehow I can even image him now as an adult making that same request. (Because he actually has)

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