Stuffed Shells, A Special Treat
I know that most of my recipes are quick and easy but there are a few that are most definitely a labor of love. These stuffed shells are definitely one of those recipes that take some work, but the delicious results are well worth it. I make these a couple of times a year and everyone always gets really excited when they know its Stuffed Shells Day! When I DO make this recipe I always make a a lot so that I can share them with all my loved ones. This recipe makes a great dish to bring to a friend who is need of a meal. They also freeze really well and you can freeze them before baking or after. Once they are baked, they reheat really well for days after.
Double The Recipe For Sharing
This recipe I am sharing is for about two trays of shells, But is easily doubled to make extra for others. My cousin recently had her first baby and when someone has a baby I always bring them food. These Stuffed Shells were one of her special requests. Once one of my cousins heard I was making stuffed shells, they all requested a tray so I actually tripled the recipe this time. You can see in the picture below how many trays that actually made. I was able to make 3 of my cousins a tray, Mr. Tipsy’s friend and had a tray for us.
Why Cottage Cheese
I use cottage cheese because it helps the shells to not try out in the oven. The cottage cheese has the same flavor profile as ricotta, but since it is a little wetter it adds more liquid for the shells to bake without drying out. I sometimes will modify the recipe and use half ricotta and half cottage cheese. I highly recommend the cottage cheese but if you prefer all ricotta, this recipe will accommodate all ricotta cheese as well as a swap.
The Stuffed Shells Recipe
- What you’ll need:
- • 4 cups of cottage cheese (sometimes I use 1/2 ricotta 1/2 cottage cheese)
- • 1 cup of powdered type Parmesan cheese
- • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, sometimes I add a little more then you will need 2 cups of mozzarella for the topping
- • 3 tablespoons of fresh minced parsley
- • salt and pepper to taste
- • 2 eggs whisked
- • 1 box of large shells, boiled, rinsed and cooled
- • about 4 cups of your favorite sauce, I make my own
I prefer to use cottage cheese over ricotta because it is creamier and my shells don’t dry out.
✔️add a cup and a half of sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish
✔️mix the cottage cheese with the powdered Parmesan, the 2 cups of mozzarella, the parsley and the salt and pepper. Taste it at this point to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking.
✔️fold in the whisked eggs and make sure it’s combined well
✔️use a tablespoon and fill each shell pretty full with the cheese mixture then add the shells to the pan
✔️top the shells with another cup or so of your sauce and sprinkle a@cup of mozzarella on top. Bake this at 375° for about 45 minutes
✔️at the 45 min mark I add more sauce to the top, then the rest of the cheese and then turn up the oven to 400° for about 15 minutes, then I turn on the broiler (watch carefully) and let the cheese get all bubbly and brown.
This makes great leftovers and freezes really well for quick dinners on busy days.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. It is delicious and fairly easy to make once you organize yourself in the kitchen. Remember to make a good salad and some garlic bread to serve it with!