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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Jumbo Shells

Sometimes the recipes on the back or sides of boxes are wonderful - and this is one of those times. I basically followed the recipe on the back of the Meijer noodle box for Jumbo Shells. I used to make this all the time and it is a hit at our house. I quit making it when I learned of our different food allergies. A couple weeks ago I made it and it was the most delicious cheesy stuffed shells.

This wasn't just any dinner - we had 15 guests, all high school girls basketball players - and let me tell you that while they are incredibly polite you KNOW if your meal is a hit or not. I have been hosting "team eats" several times a year for 6 years now - I do it for every sport my kids are in - I love it. That night they ate every scrap of food, so I think it was a hit.

I want you to start with the Cheesy filling, then make the meat sauce, and finally boil your noodles - ok?

Cheesy Filling
2 containers of ricotta cheese (about 30 oz)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
2 frozen spinach cubes - thawed - optional (I cook spinach and then blend it and freeze in icecube trays)
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBS parsley (I used dried but fresh would be better)
salt and pepper

Mix it all in a big bowl with a spoon. Put it in the refrigerator until well chilled. When you are ready to fill the shells put about 1/3 in a big plastic bag - snip the corner off and squeeze like you are frosting a cake.

I then made a homemade meat sauce - to which I added 2 Italian Sausages, cooked in the sauce and then sliced. This could totally be a vegetarian dish if you used a marinara sauce instead -which I have done in the past. I like to serve this on Fridays in Lent.

Boil your noodles in salty water.

You will need 2 casserole dishes - lightly oil them(I used coconut oil but butter or lard would work too). Then put about a half of a cup of your meat sauce  in each and spread it around. Place your FILLED shells on the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the shells and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve immediately.

While I haven't done it I am sure this can also be made ahead (up to the point where you cook it) and frozen. It would make a great meal to take to a new mommy!

This makes enough to serve oh, about 8 people - if you are serving 15 basketball players you will want to double the recipe.

I served this with a salad and garlic cheese bread. And for dessert I made my famous strawberry poke the hole cake - truly a most delicious dessert. Its not my recipe, and well, it isn't very healthy - but Dang is it ever delicious.

I am linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!


  1. That looks to die for! Definitely something for my must try file.

  2. Thanks Lindsay - we really enjoy this dish!

  3. Oh, I haven't had stuffed shells in ages. I'm putting this on the menu!

  4. Team dinners are so fun!! And this looks like a sure winner.

  5. Oh my gosh, Christy . . . you've got a gorgeous stuffed shell recipe going on here! Now following you to get more of these irresistable recipes!

  6. Moan, stuffed shells. A definite favorite around here. Love that cheesy filling!

  7. I am going to get these jumbo shells the next time I shop for pasta. It can hold so much sauce...cheesy sauce. ;p

  8. I've always been a bit nervous about using those jumbo shells, but I'll tell you what, your recipe sounds so good I'm going to be brave! I love all the cheeses you have used! I think I would go for the marinara sauce option, but both sound wonderful.

  9. Christy bo bisty! I love that you host team dinners! I do the same thing for my two daughter's girl scout troops and theater groups! I love to meet the new kids and see the sense of community growing between them, plus they all know I love to cook and do it well! Stuffed shells can be absolutely fabulous or total crud, but the thing is the pace of them as you said, and how you put them together is so key to firm shells that arent soggy or limp! Thanks as always for hosting and posting on the hearth and soul hop! Hugs! Alex

  10. I have been looking for giant gluten-free shells to try a Mexican variation of stuffed shells. I am going to have to renew my search because your cheese stuffed shells are speaking to me! :)

  11. Great snack, love to have it any day and any time, its looking so tempting and good !

  12. Oh the memories this dish brings back for me, its been such a long time since I've had stuffed shells. Yours are just simply tasing me.

  13. Made this yesterday and it was wonderful!

    1. I am so glad to hear that - it remains a family favorite! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know!

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