If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal that is sure to impress both family and friends, then look no further than these mouthwatering Sausage Stuffed Shells with Spinach. This recipe combines tender pasta shells filled with a flavorful mixture of sausage, spinach, and cheese, all baked to golden perfection. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just want to treat yourself to something special, these stuffed shells are the perfect choice.
The star of this dish is the savory sausage filling. Made with a combination of ground sausage, fresh spinach, garlic, and a blend of spices, it’s packed with flavor and brings a satisfying richness to each bite. The pasta shells are cooked until perfectly al dente, then stuffed with the sausage mixture and nestled in a bed of tangy tomato sauce. Finally, a generous sprinkle of melted cheese on top adds a gooey, irresistible finish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Servings: 6
|– 1 pound of large pasta shells||1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.|
|– 1 pound of ground sausage||2. In a large skillet, cook the ground sausage over medium heat until browned. Add the garlic and spinach, and cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.|
|– 2 cloves of garlic, minced||3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked sausage mixture with ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well.|
|– 2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped||4. Spoon the sausage mixture into each pasta shell and arrange them in a baking dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the shells. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.|
|– 1 cup of ricotta cheese||5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.|
|– 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese||6. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!|
|– 1 large egg, beaten|
|– Salt and pepper to taste|
|– 2 cups of tomato sauce|
|– 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese|
Ingredients for Sausage Stuffed Shells
- Jumbo shells: These large pasta shells serve as the base for the dish, providing a perfect vessel for the sausage and spinach filling.
- Sausage: Italian sausage, whether sweet or spicy, adds a savory and rich flavor to the filling. It can be either ground or removed from casings, depending on personal preference.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach leaves are sautéed until wilted and then mixed with the sausage to add a healthy and vibrant element to the dish.
- Ricotta cheese: Ricotta cheese contributes to the creaminess of the filling, binding all the ingredients together and adding a luscious texture.
- Mozzarella cheese: Both shredded and sliced mozzarella cheese are used in this recipe. The shredded mozzarella is mixed with the filling, while the sliced mozzarella is placed on top of the shells before baking, creating a gooey and melted cheese layer.
- Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese is used to enhance the flavor and lend a nutty and saltiness to the dish.
- Eggs: Eggs act as a binder and help hold the filling together so that it doesn’t ooze out of the shells during baking.
- Garlic and onion: These aromatic ingredients are sautéed and mixed with the sausage and spinach, adding depth and complexity to the filling.
- Seasonings: A combination of dried herbs such as oregano, basil, and parsley, as well as salt and pepper, are used to season the filling and enhance the flavors of the dish.
- Marinara sauce: Marinara sauce is used to coat the bottom of the baking dish and adds a tangy and savory element to the overall flavor profile of the dish.
These ingredients come together to create a mouthwatering and satisfying meal that is perfect for any occasion. With their combination of flavors and textures, sausage stuffed shells with spinach are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Instructions for Making Sausage Stuffed Shells
- Cook the jumbo pasta shells according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon.
- Add minced garlic, chopped onion, and diced bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
- Stir in chopped spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooled sausage and vegetable mixture with ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, chopped fresh basil, and salt.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Spread a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
- Using a spoon, stuff each cooked pasta shell with the sausage and cheese mixture and place them in the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the stuffed shells, then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
These sausage stuffed shells make a delicious and hearty meal that is sure to impress your family and friends. Serve them with a green salad and garlic bread for a complete and satisfying dinner.
- Jumbo pasta shells
- Olive oil
- Italian sausage
- Bell pepper
- Ricotta cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
- Marinara sauce
- Shredded mozzarella cheese