Stuffed shells are comfort food for me. A cold winter day comfort food. Nothing beats pulling a pan of piping hot stuffed shells with melted cheese out of the oven on a day that all I feel like doing is curling up on the couch under a blanket. All that creamy goodness…YUM!
Just like the Quinoa Stuffed Peppers I wrote about the other day, you can put pretty much anything in a shell. The options are endless. I love recipes like this that can inspire you to create your own version. If you don’t have a few or any of the ingredients in this particular recipe so what. Open your pantry and your fridge, take out a few things and toss them into a bowl. Stuff the shells and you just created your own recipe. It’s really that simple.
I hear all the time from people that they “don’t know how to cook.” My answer is always if you can read you can follow a recipe. You have to want to cook, and really it is very enjoyable. Bring your husband, wife, kids, boyfriend, girlfriend, somebody into the kitchen with you and make it fun. I love cooking with my husband. I can’t wait until my little one is old enough to help me make dinner for daddy.
“I’m not good at putting ingredients together.” Sure you are. All you need to do is start with ingredients that you already know you like and the more you experiment, the better you’ll be. Stuffed shells are a perfect thing to try that with. Let’s open up that pantry. You’ve got butternut squash, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and left over rotisserie chicken. Roast the squash, sauté the veggies, toss everything into a bowl add some seasonings and stuff the shells. Don’t like squash? How about sweet potatoes?
There’s nothing to it. Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult. Give it try. I’d love to hear the combinations you come up with.
Here is how I made my shells today.
I got those shells cooking.
Grabbed an onion and diced it really really small. I didn’t sauté the onions this time so I didn’t want to have huge chunks of it.
Tossed the onion into a large bowl with the ricotta cheese, frozen (defrosted) spinach, frozen kale, an egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
I mixed all the ingredients really well, you want to make sure that the egg is completely incorporated.
Before I start stuffing the shells, I always put a little bit of sauce in the bottom of my baking dish.
Stuffed the shells. Covered with sauce. Sprinkled with cheese. Done. Bake right away or put the in the fridge for later.
- 12 oz jumbo shell pasta, cooked
- 1 1/2 lbs. ricotta cheese
- 10 oz. package frozen spinach, defrosted
- 1 cup frozen chopped kale
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 1 egg
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
- Cook the jumbo shell pasta according to the package directions.
- Add the ricotta, spinach, kale, onion, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to a large bowl and mix well to combine.
- Pour a little bit of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish.
- Stuff the shell pasta and place into the baking dish.
- Pour the marinara sauce over the shells and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
- Use your favorite jarred sauce or make your own.
- If you make the shells ahead of time and they are in the refrigerator, you will need to increase the cooking time.