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Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed Shells

 Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed Shells
Enjoy the convenience of this make-ahead dish or bake right away. Either way, it has half the saturated fat of the original recipe but is just as meaty. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia
10 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 45 min.


  • 20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente; drain and
  • rinse in cold water. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and
  • green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup Italian cheese
  • blend, Parmesan cheese, pesto, egg and half of the beef mixture.
  • In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian
  • seasoning. Spread 3/4 cup into a 13-in x 9-in. baking dish coated
  • with cooking spray. Spoon cheese mixture into pasta shells; place in

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Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed Shells (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • baking dish. Combine remaining beef mixture and tomato mixture;
  • spoon over shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and
  • refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake
  • at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or
  • until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 2 stuffed shells equals 295 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 70 mg cholesterol, 436 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 22 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.
Wine: Full-Bodied Red Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.