Saturday, February 28, 2015

Easy Italian Meal of Stuffed Shells #Recipe

I don't know about you all, but cooking for a big family can often be time consuming and frustrating. You feel like you are in the kitchen almost all day, right? We try to do a special meal at least three times a week and it normally involves spending more time in the kitchen but dinner is a time where we all sit around the table and converse, chat about the day, spend family time together, and so on. One of my favorite meals to make would have to be Stuffed Shells. It is basically like Manicotti, but in my opinion, easier to throw together on a busy day but still looks like you made a lot of effort. Definitely a favorite in our house!



I will start off with ingredients needed first. Then the directions along with pictures. This is my first time posting an actual recipe so leave a comment and let me know what you think I could do to improve, what you liked, etc. Also if you want me to post more recipes I would be glad to start doing that more. This recipe fed our family of 8 plus a friend, and we had a little bit of leftovers. I also had a salad and cheesy toast with it.



INGREDIENTS-

Pasta shells-2 lbs
Cottage Cheese-large tub
Ricotta Cheese-medium tub
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese-16 oz
Eggs- 1-2
Italian Seasoning(basil, parsley, etc)- 1 tbspn
Parmesan Cheese-8 oz
Pasta Sauce-Large jar


DIRECTIONS-
I always start out with getting all my ingredients on the counter, bowls, pans, etc so I have them ready to use. It is so much easier than having to search for something while I am in the middle of mixing the cheeses, or stuffing shells, etc.



Start water for the pasta as described on package. While the water is heating, stir together your italian seasoning, eggs, cottage, ricotta and a handful of mozzarella cheese.



This will be your stuffing to go into the shells once they are done. Make sure to preheat your oven to 350* while you are fixing the shells. Drain your pasta once it is finished cooking, al dente is best so they are still firm enough to handle without falling apart, and now comes the fun part of filling them.



You want a good amount of filling inside, but not too much or they will fall over and overflow. Get your pans ready, I use a 13x9 but I also use at least two pans for our family, and put a layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan.



This acts as an oil almost so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom when you go to pull it out. Continue filling all the shells until your pan is full. The oven should be done heating by now.



Once your shells are in the pan, layer pasta sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan on top. Do these in order over all the shells or it won't turn out right. Bake this at 350* for 25-30 minutes. Just watch as oven temperatures vary and your cheese on top might burn. You can put foil over the top if you would like for the first 20 minutes and then take it off for the last 5-10. And then voila!



You have a meal that took you about an hour or less to prepare and cook. As I said above, I also put together a salad and did some cheesy toast to round out the meal. This is also an easy meal to make up and freeze, send to a neighbor, etc. Everyone who has tried it has loved it.




**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

2 comments:

Ashley Charlebois said...

Yummy! This looks absolutely delicious. I might have to try it. Looks like a lot of work, though. Lol.

Kristie said...

I love stuffed shells. It was my favorite growing up and my mom always made them for my birthday! Yum! And I agree that manicotti is a huge pain. Shells are the way to go! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

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