Being a working mom, I like to try to take advantage of the weekend to pre-prepare or make at least one meal for the upcoming week. This weekend I pre-made baked stuffed shells. In my family these are right up there with lasagna as a family favorite. I like them because, in all honesty, I find them less complex and time consuming to make than lasagna. That s probably because is make a vegetarian version of them. If my filling included some meat then they would be more time consuming. However, my basic recipe is pretty simple.
- 1 box of jumbo shells
- 1 jar of pasta sauce, marinara or tomato basil are my go tos
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 package ricotta cheese
- Boil salted water to cook jumbo shells according to package instruction
- Drain cooked shells into colander and cool with cold water
- Mix ricotta, eggs, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese together
- Stuff shells with cheese mixture and place in a 9×11 pan
- Open pasta sauce and pour entire jar over pan of shells
- Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over shells
- Bake in 375 oven for 30 minutes
This dish can be pre-made and stored in the fridge overnight. I take mine out 15-20 minutes before I want to bake it so that it comes back to room temperature before I put it in the oven. This makes sure the bake time more accurately lines up with the original recipe. Additionally, one could make the shells stuffed with cheese ahead of time and freeze them on a tray. Once they are firm they can be stored in a bag in the freezer to be pulled out later. In this scenario, the shells should be placed in a baking dish, thawed, then covered with sauce and cheese to bake at the normal temperature and time.