Vegetarian Mushroom version found at bottom!
I found this recipe on Pinterest, duh, where else do I find recipes these days, and it was almost perfect. Except that I wanted to change almost everything. Except the fact that it was stuffed shells. Swapped out the beef for ground sausage. I despise ricotta so I just used regular Italian cheese. Then I ran out of Italian cheese so I used some Monterrey Jack. And I made my sauce from scratch, as always. I also got to use the new baking dish I got for Christmas =] This made two layers of shells and I ran out of filling and just started using cheese. This makes a LOT. I didn’t realize quite how much until I fed myself and two massively hungry boys seconds and still had leftovers. Just a forewarning. I did make about five of them that were just stuffed with mushrooms for myself and they were awesome. Next time I may make more so that I can post a vegetarian version as well. I’m upping the ingredients I used so that hopefully there will be enough for all of the shells.
Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Shells
1-12oz Package of large shells
2lbs Ground sausage
1 1/2c Shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella
3-14.5oz cans Tomato sauce. I used one 28oz can and could have used more so I’m upping by a small can
1/2 Onion, Minced
1T Minced garlic
Parmesan cheese to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Bring pot of water to boil and boil shells according to directions, drain. I did not rinse mine but they were very hot to handle so I would suggest it
3. While the water and noodles are boiling, bring tomato sauce, onion, basil, thyme, oregano, and garlic to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer until ready to use
4. While noodles and sauce are cooking, cook up sausage in pan. Drain and remove to a large bowl. At this point I popped this in the fridge a few minutes so the sausage wasn’t as hot and it was easier to handle. Mix sausage with Italian cheese
5. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over bottom of baking dish to prevent shells from sticking to dish
6. Place as many shells as you can in a single layer and stuff with sausage/cheese mixture
7. Top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat layer with rest of noodles and sauce
8. Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes or until everything is heated through.
UPDATE: I made this again and used 1 8oz package of mushrooms and got 5 very full shells out of it.
Make the same as above however use diced mushrooms instead of sausage. I only did five shells stuffed with mushrooms so I’m not sure of the amounts but I would guess two lbs of mushrooms would suffice. The funky looking shell in the bottom right corner is one of my mushroom ones. I think I may have preferred it over the meat variation. If anyone makes this, please let me know how many mushrooms you used =]
And here’s a picture of the family vegetarian…