September 5, 2011

Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells

In the need for something new and tasty for dinner?
I don't know about you, but I am tired of using the same recipes over and over again. Although I love them, and they are my go-to's, I was in the need to shake things up a bit.

Naturally, being on Pinterest helps me find new recipes and get inspired. While browsing a few weeks ago, I saw a photo for cheese and spinach stuffed shells with meat sauce... umm, yum! So, I started looking through recipes, and pieced together a recipe of my own.

Being the single gal I am, I didn't want to make this meal just for me and eat leftovers for 8 consecutive meals. So naturally I turned to my favorite easy-to-please audience... BF and his roomies!

This recipe was super yummy, easy and crowd pleasing. I think the boys' happy plates were a direct reflection of their happy tummies. :) Total hit.


 Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells 

Image result for cheese and spinach stuffed shells

Ingredients:

1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
(I use whole wheat when available)
1 (32 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
8 ounces low-fat cottage cheese
1 - 1.5 package(s) of shredded low-fat mozzarella
8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Sauce:

2 (28 ounce) jars pasta sauce (I use Chunky Ragu)
1 lb. ground lean chicken
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste

1 gallon size Ziploc bag

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Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Saute olive oil, garlic, and diced onions for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Add ground turkey and brown with the onions until all pink coloring is gone from the meat.

3) Reduce heat to low. Add diced tomatoes, and 2 jars of pasta sauce (because I like my pasta saucey!!). Let simmer and stir occasionally.

4) Cook shells according to the box instructions, and place in a bowl of cold water after boiling to stop the cooking. This is a very important step! If you skip the cold water bath after boiling, the shells will tear when you fill them.

5) Combine ricotta, Parmesan, cottage cheese, and seasoning until thoroughly integrated and smooth. Microwave the spinach for a minute until wilted, and add to the mixture.

6) Spread some meat sauce on the bottom of your two 9x13 pans.

7) Spoon cheese/spinach mixture into the Ziploc bag and work all of it into one lower corner. Twist the top of the Ziploc to look like a piping bag, and cut a dime-sized opening in the bottom corner with scissors.


8) Begin removing shells one at a time from the water, and begin piping the cheese/spinach mixture into each shell. Avoid over-filling the shells so that you have enough filling to go around.

9) After filling the shells, place them next to each other in dish. After 10-12 shells fill the pan, cover in meat sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella over the top. Repeat with remaining shells in the second 9x13 dish.

10) Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly around the edges and shells are set.


{ Serve with a fresh salad and garlic bread - yum! }



Bon Appetit!





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PS - In case you missed the Mingle Monday blog hop post , go check it out! Get your blog some exposure and find some other great blogs! Happy Labor Day!

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7 comments:

  1. yum! That looks delicious!

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  2. Ohmygoodness this looks AMAZING!!!!!! Thanks for sharing :) I've been all over pinterest as well searching for new recipes.

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  3. Yum! Isn't Pinterest the best for finding inspiration?

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  4. Oh boy..YUM :) I love my momma's stuffed shells!

    Would love for you to link this up on my Tasty Tuesday link-up...pretty please :)

    <3-Cami from First Day of My Life

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  5. That looks delicious! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to try it out :)

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  6. Ok, this looks DELICIOUS! I am definitely going to try this - my Hubs is a HUGE fan of pasta/red sauce, but I'm more down to make this simply because it looks like a whole lotta fun to use the ziploc/piping bag to fill the shells! :-D (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not)

    Seriously though...I am not very skilled in the kitchen, but this looks like something I won't be able to mess up! Thanks for the recipe!

    xo

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