Stuffed Shells ~ meat and cheese, an awesome Freezer Meal!
Stuffed Shells ~ PERFECT Freezer Meal
Oh my, have I told you how I think I was an Old Italian Woman in a previous life? There is nothing I like better than making an awesome Italian meal! This is a family favorite that is always part of our big feasts.
I like to make ‘sauce’, some homemade meatballs and this exact dish… I usually double or triple this recipe so I can have bags in the freezer! I freeze the prepared (filled) shells before baking – and with the sauce separate, then simply thaw overnight in the fridge.
Here’s how I roll….
- 12 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 lb. ground meat (we like ground beef and Italian sausage, mixed)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1- 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
- 1 c. and 1/2 c. shredded cheese (divided) – provolone, mozzarella, swiss – any combo…
- ¼ c. grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. each dried parsley and basil leaves
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 1 c. and ½ c. sauce (divided)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook shells – per box directions, drain, and set aside.
Fry meat with the garlic, drain.
Beat egg in a bowl, then combine ricotta cheese, 1 c. shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in bowl. Stir until well mixed.
Fold in meat. Fill shells with ‘cheesey goodness’ mixture.
Spread ½ c. sauce on bottom of 8” square (or round – LOL) baking pan and place shells inside. Spread remaining 1 c. sauce over shells. Cover with foil.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more, until sauce bubbles. Remove from oven and sprinkle with ½ c. remaining shredded cheese. Return to oven for about 1-2 minutes (maybe broil) until cheese is melted.
Serve with salad and crusty bread, maybe a little extra sauce for dipping… outta this world!!