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Three-Cheese Lazy Stuffed Shells with Spinach

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Three-Cheese Lazy Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Three-Cheese Lazy Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Jessica Braider
This takes the classic Italian comfort food and turns it into a weeknight meal! If you’re a meat lover, this would also be excellent with 12 – 16 oz. of cooked sausage stirred in and you could also add 4 - 8 oz. of sliced or chopped mushrooms. Scramble recipe tester Debbie Firestone said, “Yummy. Easy. Scramble worthy!”
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz. medium whole wheat shells (not jumbo shells) (use wheat/gluten free, if needed), or use regular
  • 9 oz. baby spinach
  • 26 oz. tomato and garlic pasta sauce
  • 15 oz. low fat ricotta cheese (or use any variety)
  • 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese (or use any variety)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning or use a combination of dried basil and oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until it is al dente. One minute before the pasta is done, stir in the spinach, cover it to bring it back to a boil, and let the spinach wilt.
  • While the pasta is cooking, pour about half the pasta sauce in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Drain the spinach and pasta.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, and egg until well combined.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and spinach and toss until well coated and the cheese mixture starts to settle into the cooked shells.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking dish, top it with the remaining sauce, and the Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover tightly with foil that has been treated with non-stick cooking spray (at this point you can refrigerate it for up to 24 hours or freeze it for up to 3 months) and bake it for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Notes

Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the pasta and spinach and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, shred the mozzarella cheese if necessary and refrigerate, combine the spices, beat and refrigerate the egg, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate, fully assemble and refrigerate the dish, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze it.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Top the dish with chopped fresh parsley; serve the dish with crushed red pepper flakes.
Tip: Whole wheat pasta has significantly more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than its refined cousin. If you suspect that your family may balk at the idea of whole wheat pasta, slowly make the transition by preparing dishes with half whole wheat and half regular white pasta.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 385, Total Fat: 9g, 14%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 19.5%; Cholesterol: 53mg, 17.5%; Sodium: 637mg, 26.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 56g, 18.5%; Dietary Fiber: 9g, 33.5%; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 24g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Company/Entertaining, Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, High Fiber, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Potluck/Buffet, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter
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