Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe

4.5 35 35
Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe
Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Publisher Photo

Italian Stuffed Shells Recipe

Read Reviews
4.5 35 35
Publisher Photo
A dear friend first brought over this casserole. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit! —Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
MAKES:
8 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 50 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES:
8 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 50 min. Bake: 35 min.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Get a nutritious boost by adding a 5-ounce package of chopped baby spinach to the cheese mixture.
  • The sweet aniselike flavor and bright color make basil a great garnish choice for this.
  • Originally published as Italian Stuffed Shells in Country Ground Beef 1993, p54

    Nutritional Facts

    4 stuffed shells and sauce: 430 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 866mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 32g protein.

    • 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
    1. 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.
    2. Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
    3. 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.

    Test Kitchen Tips
  • Get a nutritious boost by adding a 5-ounce package of chopped baby spinach to the cheese mixture.
  • The sweet aniselike flavor and bright color make basil a great garnish choice for this.
  • Originally published as Italian Stuffed Shells in Country Ground Beef 1993, p54

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    Reviews forItalian Stuffed Shells

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    MY REVIEW
    Sabrina User ID: 9404848 282099
    Reviewed Jan. 14, 2018

    "Great receipe, being from the Cayman Islands I added a bit of jerk dry seasoning instead of just salt and pepper and added mild cheddar cheese for a cheesier dish at the end. ITS A HIT IN OUR HOME??"

    MY REVIEW
    Bekah User ID: 9395425 281639
    Reviewed Jan. 7, 2018

    "Excellent base recipe but needed a few things! I added salt, pepper, a general Italian seasonings mix, and a packet of Splenda to the sauce so it wasn't so bitter from the paste, and used 2 beef bouillon cubes instead of granules since my grocery store didn't stock granules. The cottage cheese is great...not as heavy as ricotta and I didn't have an after-taste that I sometimes have after eating ricotta. I cooked extra shells just in case I had any that broke apart. The shells should only be cooked 10 minutes for al dente. My husband and even my 5- year old loved it!!"

    MY REVIEW
    Psalm127-3 User ID: 7749892 279419
    Reviewed Dec. 16, 2017

    "I've used cottage cheese (not ricotta) for my meals akin to this all my life. ricotta altho good, I've never gotten the 'wow' when using it. prob just a preference but for my/our tastes I'll continue with my cottage cheese bcz to me it's still very Italian"

    MY REVIEW
    mandyleigh86 User ID: 7598689 277192
    Reviewed Nov. 3, 2017

    "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."

    MY REVIEW
    gram-9 User ID: 5719750 276497
    Reviewed Oct. 19, 2017

    "Why not use Ricotta instead of cottage cheese? Then it would be more ITALIAN!!"

    MY REVIEW
    Jellybug User ID: 53068 271511
    Reviewed Aug. 8, 2017

    "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."

    MY REVIEW
    mrscrazyed1 User ID: 6143812 266281
    Reviewed May. 24, 2017

    "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 REVIEW
    mlhawks User ID: 5429552 265389
    Reviewed May. 1, 2017

    "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."

    MY REVIEW
    dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 259460
    Reviewed Jan. 9, 2017

    "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."

    MY REVIEW
    NH-rescue User ID: 4255840 259169
    Reviewed Jan. 3, 2017

    "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."

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