Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells

DSC_0760This pasta dish has been a long-time favorite.  Family and friends all seem to love this take on Giant Stuffed Pasta Shells.  It is a great make-ahead recipe!

  • 1 box giant pasta shells
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb turkey sweet sausage links
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c fine dry italian-style or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 jars of your favorite red pasta sauce
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese /or 1/2 c additional shredded mozzarella

Cook pasta shells in boiling water according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again and set aside. In large skillet over medium heat, cook meats (squeeze sausage out of casing), onion and garlic until meat is browned. Remove from heat, drain fat from skillet.  Pour meat in large bowl.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese, beaten eggs, bread cumbs, spinach and pepper.  Pour enough pasta sauce into the bottom of 9 x 13″ baking dish to cover thickly. Using a pampered chef’s cookie scoop, open shell and scoop meat mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange the stuffed shells over the sauce in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the shells.  Sprinkle with either the grated parmesan cheese or additional shredded mozzarella cheese.  Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly, then remove foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes.  Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Note: This dish can be modified to 1 lb of ground beef or 1 lb of ground turkey.  To turn this dish into a make-ahead meal, completely cool the cooked meat mixture and shells before filling them.  Fill shells as directed, cover dish and refrigerate up to overnight.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes covered.  Uncover and continue baking for 15-20  minutes more until heated through and cheese starts to brown.

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