August 16, 2012

Cheese Please!


Today’s recipe is:

a.  delicious

b.  cheesy

c.  delicious

d.  meatless

e.  delicious

Get the hint?

I don’t know why I haven’t fixed stuffed shells more often – the truth be told, I have only made them once or twice before in my life.  They are so easy and are a quintessential comfort food. 

It got 5 stars from my taste tester – I hope your eaters like it, too.  Enjoy!




Pesto Stuffed Shells

Print this recipe!

yields 4-6 servings


1 box Jumbo Shells

1 large jar spaghetti sauce*

For the filling:

  • 1 (15-ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 T reduced fat cream cheese (room temp) – my secret ingredient!
  • 1/4 C jarred pesto (or homemade if desired)
  • salt and pepper


*I love to add my favorite veggies and seasonings to jarred spaghetti sauce to give it more of a homemade feel – I start by sautéing onion, mushrooms and garlic until tender followed by 1 T of tomato paste for that extra kick.  Totally optional!


Prepare HALF OF THE BOX of jumbo shells according to package directions.  Drain and let cool on a baking sheet while preparing the rest of the meal components.






For the filling, in a medium bowl place 1 egg and whisk (this makes it easier to incorporate into the cheese mixture).  Add the rest of the filling ingredients and mix.  Set aside.


stuffed shells




Question of the day:  Why does something as delicious as pesto have to look so much like duck poop?


Heat spaghetti sauce (and add any “fixings” if desired) in a saucepan on the stove over low heat.



Cooking with Prego while preggo – so fun!


Prepare your baking dish by spraying with nonstick spray and ladling a layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the dish.



TIP:  Always, always, always spray your casserole dishes before making savory dishes (not just sweets) – this makes cleanup SO MUCH EASIER!


Scoop about 1 1/2 T filling into cooked pasta shells (I used a fork and thought it worked better than a spoon) and place on the bottom of your baking dish.  Continue until all the shells are filled and baking dish is full.  Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce.





Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.






On the side?  Yep, you guessed it:  crusty garlic bread – YUM!



Happy Friday-eve!

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