Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Shells

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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

Sausage and Cheese Shells

Original Recipe

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

1/2T Basil

1/2T Oregano

1/2T Thyme

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

Sausage and Cheese Shells

6. Place as many shells as you can in a single layer and stuff with sausage/cheese mixture

Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Sausage and Cheese Shells

7. Top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat layer with rest of noodles and sauce

Sausage and Cheese Shells

Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Shells

8. Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes or until everything is heated through.

Sausage and Cheese Shells

Yumm!

Mushroom variation!

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 =]

Sausage and Cheese Shells

Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Shells

And here’s a picture of the family vegetarian…

Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Shells

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