I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of stuffed shells! They’re so versatile, and the filling possibilities are endless! Plus, they’re a great make-ahead meal. Did you know you can fill the shells and freeze them for later use? YES! Stuffed shells are the perfect weeknight dinner option, especially when you’re in a pinch. Just pop the stuffed frozen shells into a baking dish with some sauce, and bake until bubbly! I’ll show you how…
These sausage, spinach and artichoke stuffed shells were the result of brainstorming while staring at my veggies drawer. A packet of Italian turkey sausage, 2 artichokes and a bag of spinach were staring back at me, along with some bits of peppers and onions. The result…delish! These stuffed shells are chock full of delicious chunky vegetables and spicy, lean turkey sausage. It’s the perfect recipe for sneaking in lots of veggies into your family’s unsuspecting mouths.
1 cup cooked ground turkey sausage (sweet or spicy)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 whole egg
30-35 jumbo pasta shells, parcooked
1 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
dried parsley flakes
Cook the pasta shells for 3 minutes less than the box instructions, then drain and cool. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
Pour about half of the pasta sauce into a 9×13 baking dish, covering the bottom of the pan completely.
In a saute pan, add the olive oil and cook the onions, peppers and garlic over medium low heat. Cook them until they’re translucent and soft, but not browned. Set them aside to cool.
Add the ricotta cheese into a large bowl. Stir in the cooked sausage, onions, peppers, garlic, spinach, artichokes, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese.
Taste the mixture for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.
After the mixture is seasoned, stir in the egg until it’s thoroughly combined.
Fill each shell with about 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and place them filling side up in the baking dish.
Pour the remaining pasta sauce over the shells.
Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella onto the shells and garnish with dried parsley.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 F degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the shells are bubbling and and the cheese is melted.
Serve nice and hot!
To freeze the shells for baking later, place them stuffing side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them until they’re frozen solid, then toss them into a zip-top bag.
When you’re ready to bake them, place the frozen shells into a baking pan lined with some pasta sauce. Pour more sauce over the shells and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top, then bake at 375 degrees until they’re hot and bubbly.