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Carol’s Stuffed Shells

Now that it’s fall, it’s time to start making our oven baked goodness. Maybe your family was like that, too! My mom was famous for making these stuffed shells! I have sweet memories of helping her in the kitchen with them before I even started kindergarten!

Stuffed shells are usually super dry, but she does two things to make sure hers were always ooey gooey creamy. She leaves out the Parmesan cheese every time and adds cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Don’t worry, you can do ricotta if you can’t get past it, but I’m telling you, you’ll never know it’s cottage cheese if you don’t tell anyone. You’ll have the creamiest stuffed shells you’ve ever had in your life if you try it.

Ellis said it best, I’ve never even bought cottage cheese…I haven’t either, except to make this recipe. I made everyone in the office try both ricotta and cottage cheese filling shells before I told them what it was and everyone except one person picked the cottage cheese shells as their favorite! 🙂

Because this dish makes so much, you have dinner now and a meal for later. If you double the recipe, you’ve got freezer meals forever. It’s also a great recipe to make for a friend or to bring to a party.

This also makes for a fun family night in the kitchen… create an assembly line and let the whole family help! Let’s get cooking together…

Filling –
  • 32 Oz Container of Small Curd Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 Tsp Each of Salt and pepper
Noodles –
  • 1 Box Jumbo Shell Noodles
Sauce –
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 Jars Spaghetti Sauce
  • Optional: Spices to Doctor it Up
Toppings –
  • 2-4 Cups Mozzarella Cheese Per Dish
How to Make:
  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring a giant pot of water to boil. Cook jumbo shell noodles al dente according to box. I always add olive oil and salt to help the noodles not stick to each other and to also add flavor. Pour into a colander and run under cold water when finished.

  • In a big pan, brown meat. Add sauce to the pan and doctor up anyway you like or serve as is.

  • In a mixing bowl, add the 32 oz container of small curd cottage cheese or ricotta, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbsp parsley, 2 eggs and salt and pepper.

  • Spread a little bit of sauce around the bottom of an oven safe dish. This will help the noodles not to stick while baking.

  • Spoon filling into each shell noodle.

  • When finished, pour sauce over each pan and generously sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.

  • Bake the pan you are ready to eat and freeze the rest. When ready to bake down the road, thaw pan of shells in fridge overnight. Bake on 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

  • Serve hot with salad and warm garlic bread.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

Ellis and Tyler both picked the cottage cheese shells over the ricotta in a blind taste test and were really impressed with how good they were. I hope your family enjoys this recipe just as much! We’d love to see your pictures if you make them! You can share them on our Z88.3 Mornings Facebook page!

Carol Ellingson
Z88.3’s Resident Foodie
Originally posted on Carolbake.com

Click here for a downloadable version of this recipe.