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Uncommonly Cheesy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Spinach, mushrooms, ricotta, Mascarpone cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese are stuffed into jumbo pasta shells to make this delicious vegetarian entree. The Mascarpone cheese is the secret to this Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe.

CHEESY SPINACH AND MUSHROOM STUFFED SHELLS--ready to eat in a casserole dish

Can you guess the hardest part of making this recipe?

Finding the ingredients

The biggest challenge might be laying hands on the jumbo shells in the grocery store. I usually have good luck at my local Krogers. Don’t forget to try online if all else fails.

The second challenge is locating the Mascarpone cheese. Hunt for it in the deli section, not where the more common Cheddar and Mozzarella hang out.

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, assembling this dish is simple.  It’s less complicated than lasagna in my book.

The easiest part, of course, is eating it.

With gooey cheese, luxurious Mascarpone, flavorful spinach and mushrooms, and pasta shells bathed in your favorite marinara, who can resist?

After boiling, the shells are easy to stuff. Use surgical gloves if messy mixtures gross you out.

Variations

I make these without meat, although some chicken or Italian sausage would pump up the protein numbers and expand the flavor profile. Leave out the spinach and mushrooms if they aren’t your favorite. Then you could call them 4-Cheese Stuffed Shells.

Speaking of the cheese, I incorporated homemade ricotta cheese, but only because I have a lot of it in the house at the moment. I’ve recently experimented with making ricotta using the whey from Greek yogurt. Meanwhile, store-bought ricotta works fine.

Grate the mozzarella and parmesan for better melting.

Can I freeze this recipe?

These stuffed shells freeze well after baking. Or wrap securely in individual portions for an instant dinner that microwaves quickly.


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Hope to see you again soon!
Paula

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.


Yield: 5-6 servings

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells are filled with spinach, mushroom, ricotta, mascarpone, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 box Jumbo Shells
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach (small bag)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1-1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded and divided
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 24 ounce jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Cook shells in boiling water for 9 minutes. Stir several times to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Drain and place on a cookie sheet to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet and add mushrooms. Saute until browned. Remove from pan to medium mixing bowl. Add spinach and garlic to hot skillet and saute until wilted. Drain well in a colander, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible. Chop and add to mushrooms.
  3. Combine ricotta, mascarpone, half of Parmesan, and half of Mozzarella with spinach and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fill each shell with spinach and mushroom and cheese mixture.
  5. Add water to half of prepared sauce and pour it into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch dish. Place shells on top of the sauce, open side up.
  6. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over shells
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1509mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 25g

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