- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
- In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange shells in a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.
Freeze option: After assembling, cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake as directed, adding remaining 1 cup mozzarella after 30-40 minutes and increasing time as necessary for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 8 servings.
Reviews forItalian Stuffed Shells
"Sooo good and my 8 yr old loved it! I made it as is, I also used the tomato paste with Italian seasonings. After reading reviews, I am curious to try it with ricotta instead of cottage cheese but I'm very happy with the original recipe."
"Why not use Ricotta instead of cottage cheese? Then it would be more ITALIAN!!"
"My husband and mother and I loved it..very hearty and delicious. I served a side salad and buttered French rolls, and could not finish it all. The only change I made was not using the cottage cheese, because we are not fans."
"This was very rich and cheesy, so much so that two stuffed jumbo shells were sufficient for me. After I had realized that i added all the mozzarella to the cheese mixture, I waited to add the Parmesan during cooking. Turned out just fine! Used beef broth instead of the water and beef bouillon granules, and found that more broth was necessary. Am looking forward to leftovers."
"My husband thought this was fabulous. I didn't have much time so I used bottled pasta sauce, and fried up some hamburger to put in the sauce. It was so good, he asks for it all the time. I think this would be a great dish to serve to company."
"Thought these were good, but we prefer the ones stuffed with meat. Also, as others have pointed out, I only had enough filling for about 17 or 18 shells. Luckily I had enough ingredients on hand to make up more filling so I didn't have to waste as many shells."
"Nice hearty casserole. Substituted ricotta cheese for some of the cottage cheese for a creamier filling. Like the idea of adding chopped spinach for flavor and color- would increase the garlic and seasonings if I did."
"This is not Italian stuffed shells if your using cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese. Get rid of the cottage cheese and in place of that use the ricotta cheese. Cottage cheese is yummy but when making an Italian Dish like lasagna or in this instance stuffed shells manicotti ect. Anyone making an authentic Italian Dish will use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese, it will have a better flavor."
"I tried this recipe today and used ground turkey in place of beef! I didn't drain the meat as it was lean ground turkey! I did add 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to the meat sauce! I used 1 beef bouillon cube instead of the granules! Instead of just Mozzarella cheese, I used the cottage cheese, mixture of 6-cheese Italian blend and the Parmesan cheese! I found that the cheese filling filled about 1-1/2 dozen jumbo pasta shells! I also baked the shells in my 3-qt. casserole. This was a very tasty and filling dish! I think what I might do the next time is stuff the shells and layer half in the casserole dish, then add half the sauce, stuff the balance of the shells and layer, then add the rest of the sauce, cover and bake the 1/2 hr., then top with rest of 6-cheese Italian blend-I'll just see how that goes. I did assemble the casserole as recipe stated and it did work out! delowenstein"
"Great meal!! SUPER family friendly! I had my 5 & 7 year old stuff the shells so they of course loved supper!"