Stuffed Shells = creamy, cheesy and saucy deliciousness.
Boy, do I have a winner for you today!
I made these stuffed shells a couple of nights ago and my husband raved all night about how good they were. You know it’s a good dish when your Italian food-loving husband raves about it. I was equally impressed that he liked it since I made it with cottage cheese and not ricotta cheese. I’m sorry to tell you this, but I can’t stand ricotta. Just don’t like it. I don’t use it in my lasagna either. You can totally switch it out if you’d like.
Stuffed Shells is a great weekend comfort food dish. There are a few steps to this that can be a bit time-consuming so I like to make this on the weekend vs on a busy weeknight. Also, this is a fantastic dish to make for company especially if you want to impress someone special.
The first time I had stuffed shells was 20+ years ago. I was a freshman in college and it was finals time and a lady in my church brought me dinner. It was so good and reminded me of the home cooked meals my mom would make. I was one of those kids who was terribly homesick the first year of college. I’m pretty sure I called my mom everyday and went home every weekend.
This is an amped up version of that dish I received so many years ago.
This recipe uses a jarred pasta sauce, but you can make your own sauce. I’m not the biggest fan of jarred pasta sauces because I find them to be a bit bland. They are handy to have in the cupboard for busy days, but I always add things to make it better. For this recipe, I used Hunt’s Garlic and Herb sauce and added the sausage and onion. I didn’t add any garlic because there was some in the sauce and I didn’t want garlic to overwhelm the other flavors.
For the pasta shells I cooked the entire package of pasta, but I didn’t end up using all of them. Some will tear while cooking and there were more shells than cheese mixture. You could cook half to 3/4 of the package and have enough shells.
This dish heats up like a dream. To reheat this I preheated my oven to 350 and placed my baking dish in the oven and allowed it to cook for 15-20 minutes. It was perfect.
- 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 1 24-ounce pasta sauce
- 1 hot Italian turkey sausage, crumbled
- ½ onion, chopped
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded plus more for the topping
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta shells according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a small skillet, cook your sausage till no longer pink and the onions till they are translucent. Add your pasta sauce to the skillet. Mix well and then pour the sauce across the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Use a large spoon to stuff each shell with the cheese filling mixture.
- Arrange each shell over the pasta sauce in a single layer.
- Cover and bake 40 minutes until hot and bubbling.