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Beefy Stuffed Shells

Beefy Stuffed Shells

These Beefy Stuffed Shells are a perfect dish for weeknights.  The hands on time is quite low, and the whole dish comes together easily.  And, as an extra bonus, the entire meal is freezer-friendly.  So make a big batch, enjoy some tonight and freeze the rest for quick meal nights!  Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Beefy Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 20-24 large shells
  • 4 oz neufchatel cheese softened
  • 4 oz cottage cheese
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 2 T fresh basil minced
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1.5 c mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite chunky spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 c water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute for several minutes until beginning to brown. Add in the ground beef and cook, breaking up, until fully browned. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Pulse Neufchatel and cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the seasonings, 1 cup of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese. Fold in the beef and onion mixture.
  4. Combine spaghetti sauce with the water. Pour a small amount of the mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and tilt to cover the bottom.
  5. Stuff each of your cooked pasta shells with the beef and cheese mixture. Place in the prepared pan. Pour remaining sauce over the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella and bake, uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe Notes

*TIP* Want to make these ahead to freeze? Cook and assemble the shells as directed above; however, instead of putting into the dish with the sauce, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flash freeze. Once frozen put in a storage bag and keep in the freezer. When ready to use, transfer to a pan with the sauce and bake 30-45 minutes until heated through.

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