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Stuffed Shells

I've been making this recipe for years. It uses cream cheese instead of the usual ricotta. It is delicious. It's my go-to recipe when I go to gatherings or to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. ( I just leave the instructions on how to bake it and pack along some garlic bread and salad). The original recipe uses 3 pounds of meat and makes a lot of shells. I cut it down to be enough for our family. But, you can double or triple it for large get-togethers.

Total Time: 45 minutes to make the shells, 1 hour to bake.

Yield: About 17 or 18 shells

Source: Food Network recipe "Northern Italian Pasta Shell Stuffing"

Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/northern-italian-pasta-shell-stuffing-recipe.html



  1. Cook your pasta shells in salted water until al dente. I usually cook them for a minute less than the directions. You don't want them to get soggy while baking. Drain pasta. Let shells sit on a pan to cool down a little bit before handling.
  2. Squeeze the water out of the thawed spinach.
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  4. Cook beef and onions until browned and cooked. Drain the grease from the pan.
  5. Add to a big bowl, along with spinach and cream cheese. Let it sit for a few minutes. The heat from the meat helps to melt the cream cheese a bit and makes it easier to stir. Stir mixture.
  6. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper (according to taste). Taste your mixture now. If it needs more salt, add it. *Do this before you add your egg.
  7. Once cooled down a bit, add your egg and stir until mixed.
  8. Spray a 9 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray. Pour enough pasta sauce in the bottom of your pan to coat the pan.
  9. Stuff shells with meat mixture. I add about 3 tablespoons or so.
  10. Put your shells in the pan. Once finished, top shells with remaining sauce. I like it all covered and smothered in sauce.
  11. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Place dish on a cookie sheet or some other larger pan to catch any drips.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
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  14. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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October 5, 20150 found this helpful

I love pasta and this looks DELICIOUS!!!!!!

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October 7, 20150 found this helpful

New to me!~ Gotta try it! Thanks!

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October 23, 20150 found this helpful

I tried it...with only a little sausage that was already in my homemade sauce and it is a real winner! I am going to make a meatless version for my vegetarian kids during the holidays!


Note: Cream cheese IS the cheese with the highest fat content, so save this for special occasions! ;)

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