Loaded with spinach, garlic, sausage, ricotta & smothered in marinara sauce, these Stuffed Shells make a great easy family dinner idea that everyone loves.
I have been craving stuffed shells for quite some time now. I think it’s because when we make them it’s sort of a family event. We all get in the kitchen & we are all working on one aspect of putting it altogether. One person is watching the pasta, one is mixing the ricotta mixture, one is slicing the bread & usually when it’s time to get it put together the hubs & I work as a team to get all those shells stuffed ever so perfectly. I absolutely love the family time together in the kitchen. It’s a great way for us all to not only spend time together, but we all appreciate what goes in to making meal time great when we are all working on it. Now that my kids are getting older I find myself cherishing these little daily moments more & more. With all that has happened in our family as of late, the everyday things like mealtime are appreciated more than ever.
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I started off by stopping by my local Kroger brand store- Fred Meyer just down the street to pick up my ingredients. Right now through October 11th they have a “Taste of Italy®” program that offers a simple & delicious way to use classic Bertolli® taste in my favorite dishes. Definitely helped with my craving for this dish.
We came together & created this dish & it was so incredibly delicious. I simply adore ricotta & look forward to just about any time I can make a meal with it. Add a little spinach & I’m swooning. It’s just so good. We used my favorite casserole dish because I had just picked it up & I was so excited to have an excuse to use it. For years, I had been using my standard, everyday dish, which was great in it’s own right, because it has a lid. But now that I have this one, I am a stuffed shell making machine!
Sometimes I make this with ground beef in place of sausage & sometimes I make it meatless & you can too. I love the versatility of this dish & all the different variations to suit your personal taste. It’s definitely a favorite dinner here.
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 box jumbo shells 20+ shells
- 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp minced garlic I used 2 head of garlic
- 4 cups packed spinach leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh basil- finely chopped
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- salt- pepper to taste I used several tsp of each
- 20 oz marinara sauce
- Spray 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray & set aside
- In a skillet, brown your sausage until thoroughly cooked - remove from heat- set aside
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Cook pasta shells al dente to package directions - drain & set aside
- In a small skillet, heat oil & garlic until garlic begins to brown
- Add in spinach & basil & cook until spinach begins to wilt but is still bright green - remove fro heat & set aside
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt & pepper - mix to combine
- Fold in spinach mixture
- Pour about 1/2 the marinara in the bottom of your casserole dish
- Scoop about 1-2 tbsp of the ricotta mixture into each cooked shell & place on top of the marinara in your dish
- Add in remaining marinara
- Sprinkle with cooked sausage evenly over the top of the shells
- Cover with foil & bake 25-30 minutes
- Remove foil & bake an additional 5-10 minutes
- Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
If you are looking for a restaurant quality dinner at home – this is definitely your dish! It’s incredible!
For more info be sure to visit Bertolli®
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