Total TimePrep: 35 min. Bake: 50 min.
Makes12 servings (2 casseroles)
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup 4% cottage cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
- 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
- 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the spinach, cream cheese and egg. Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and cinnamon if desired.
- Stuff pasta shells with sausage mixture. Arrange in two shallow 2-qt. or 11x7-in. baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Combine the sauce ingredients; spoon over shells.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Freeze option: Cool unbaked casseroles; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover casserole with foil; bake 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Nutrition Facts2 stuffed shells: 397 calories, 23g fat (14g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 1097mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 24g protein.
Dec 29, 2019
Can ricotta be substituted for cottage cheese?
Oct 30, 2018
I have made these shells a lot of times. My family loves them. In fact, my mom wants these for her birthday this year. I do use Johnsonville ground sweet Italian sausage in the recipe. Sometimes I use the hot sausage as well. Everything else stays the same. Great recipe, wonderful taste!
Jun 23, 2017
These shell are delightfully cheesy and tasty!!
May 5, 2016
I didn't cook my pasta shells so long since everything was really only warming in the oven. The other reason I didn't cook them so long was because I took the wonderful idea in a review here and began sending the shells to shut-ins or people I know don't cook for themselves much. Since I knew they would have to rewarm them, I didn't want them overcooked.
May 26, 2015
These shells were absolutely amazing! I omitted the sausage as I was serving them as a side dish, but I also ate the leftovers as a meatless main later in the week and they were equally as good when starring as the main dish. I'm positive these will be equally delicious with the sausage added! My significant other couldn't stop popping shells, he was addicted!
Apr 10, 2015
Oh, this is one of our family's favorite recipes! The only change I make is to use a 28 oz. jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce since I'm usually in a hurry to get supper on the table. We love the cheesiness (is that a word?) with the pasta shells & sauce. A little taste of heaven! :)
Nov 12, 2014
I have been making this since it first appeared in your magazine, which I believe was 1995! I am preparing it now to take to a shut in. This has become my main dish for people recovering from illness or injury. EVERYONE who I have made it for simply loves it. It is easy to transport and easy for them to reheat. We have a garden and I can my own spaghetti sauce which I use instead of preparing the one in the recipe. Thanks for a keeper.
Sep 17, 2014
This is amazing!
Sep 7, 2014
I didn't add the spinach or the cottage cheese. This was AWESOME!! Love the creamy taste of the cream cheese in there. Wish I could give it more stars! :)
Apr 5, 2014
This recipe is SO, SO GOOD! Doesn't need tweaking or anything!!