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Stuffed Shells

I made stuffed shells on Saturday and realized that it was a recipe I had never posted on my blog. The shells can be made ahead and either refrigerated or frozen. In fact, I think they are actually better when they are made ahead because the filling sort of "sets up" and seems a little firmer after baking. You can freeze the shells in a single layer in a pan or on a tray and then put them in a bag in the freezer and just take out the number you need for a meal.

Here are the filled shells:

picture of Raw Stuffed Shells

Here are the shells right out of the oven:

picture of Sauced Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

1 egg
15 oz. cottage cheese (about 2 cups)
1 heaping cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tbsp. dried
1/2 tsp. salt
dash white pepper
20 jumbo shells, cooked and then rinsed with cold water
about 3 cups prepared spaghetti sauce

Beat egg lightly. Stir in cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Spoon approximately a heaping tablespoonful into each cooked shell. Arrange in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Serves 4-6.

This recipe can easily be doubled. If baking from the refrigerator or freezer you will need to increase the baking time. Store in the refrigerator or freezer without the sauce. Add the sauce and final dusting of parmesan cheese just before baking.

picture of Served Stuffed Shells

You can also add some cooked spinach to the filling if desired. This makes a tasty meal served with salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!


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9 Comments on “Stuffed Shells”

  1. #1 Deb
    on Feb 24th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Hi Becka ~ this looks good and looks like something the girls and i would enjoy. I’ll have to fix it for church potluck one Sunday…that way it’s not the main dish for our guys. i have found that this is a good way to sample a cheesy/gloppy recipe! 🙂

  2. #2 Vikki
    on Feb 24th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This recipe really sounds wonderful!

    Couple of questions. First, if you add spinach, do you cook fresh spinach and how much? Second, have you ever tried the store bought stuffed shells? Third, how much longer to add to the bake time when using frozen shells?

    I can’t wait to try out the recipe!!

  3. #3 Becka
    on Feb 24th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I generally use the frozen chopped spinach. I let it thaw and then squeeze it out in a towel so it is good and dry before adding it to the filling. I would probably use about 8-9 oz. I’m sure you could use the fresh and well and just cook it, chop it, and drain it well.
    I have never tried the store bought shells. I don’t even remember seeing them.

    If I were cooking them from frozen I would cover the pan with foil and bake for about 45 mins. then remove the foil, add the cheese, and bake for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

  4. #4 Danette
    on Feb 25th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I think I’m going to try this one this weekend. It looks very good. Have you ever stuffed the shells before cooking them? I always do lasagna that way bcs the noodles stick together and I get frustrated. As you know, I’m your blog’s biggest fan! Thanks for posting.

  5. #5 Becka
    on Feb 25th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Danette,
    I have never tried stuffing the shells uncooked. Perhaps you could cook most of them and do a few of them uncooked to compare. They might be a bit hard to stuff when they are uncooked since they are rather brittle. The cooked ones are pretty flexible. You will have to try it and let me know! I do appreciate all my fans. 🙂

  6. #6 Ann
    on Feb 27th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I have a sausage lasagna recipe that the family loves, that calls for uncooked noodles. Saves so much time!

  7. #7 Vikki
    on Feb 27th, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Made the shells for supper tonight and added the spinach. We loved them! Thanx for much for posting this recipe!!

  8. #8 Laura
    on Mar 2nd, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    My family loves stuffed shells, and I add meat to the sauce to make it a little more hearty for my DH (browned hamburger and/or italian sausage). I put my noodles in a microwavable bowl and cover them with water then just microwave them on high for 7 minutes or so. This makes them soft and easy to fill, but not really cooked all the way. They do soak up some extra moisture from the sauce when baking, so I always make sure I add plenty of sauce. I usually double or triple the batch, as these are so easy to pull out of the freezer if you want to take a meal to someone. I’ve been known to sneak grated zucchini and yellow squash into these, but don’t tell my kids. 😉

    Not sure I’ve ever commented, but I do enjoy your blog–Thanks! 🙂

  9. #9 Becka
    on Mar 2nd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Laura, thanks for your comments. I will have to try cooking the noodles in the microwave the next time I make these.

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