Friday nights at my house are family fun nights! This means 2 things: Italian comfort food and the 4 of us cuddling under a blanket while watching movies! I love whipping up Italian favorites like pizza, pasta, and Italian soups on these nights. This past weekend I made these Skinnier Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce. I wanted to make one of my favorite Italian dishes, but make it skinnier to accommodate for health goals I set for the New Year.
Let me tell you, this skinnier stuffed shells recipe is delicious! The filling is light, creamy, and it almost melts in your mouth. The entire family LOVED this recipe, and the best thing is you can make these up to 2 days ahead of time!
One thing that helps me cut down on dinner prep time is using quality ingredients like Bertolli® Riserva sauces. They are skillfully made and heighten the flavor and quality of any Italian dish! Make sure you print the $1.50 off coupon before trying Bertolli® Riserva sauces for yourself. Bertolli is celebrating 150 years, and over on their site they’re sharing recipes and tips!
Find more about Bertolli® here:
How to Make Skinnier Stuffed Shells Recipe:
- Boil shells and let them dry on a towel-lined cookie sheet. Prepare the filling.
- Place filling in a plastic bag. Snip off the corner and fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of filling.
- Place half of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Nestle in the shells.
- Cover with remaining meat sauce.
- Bake for 35 minutes, then top with 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish and serve!
Skinnier Stuffed Shells Recipe + a GIVEAWAY!
- MEAT SAUCE:
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 1 24-ounce jar Bertolli® Riserva Balsamic Vinegar & Caramelized Onions Sauce
- STUFFED SHELLS:
- 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- 10 saltines broken into pieces
- 2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Move oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- COOK SHELLS: Cook shells as per package instructions until al dente. Drain shells and transfer to kitchen towel-lined baking sheet. Reserve 24 shells, discarding any that have broken.
- MAKE MEAT SAUCE: While shells cook, make meat sauce. In large skillet over medium heat add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat and add sauce. Mix until combined. Spread half meat sauce into bottom or 13 x 9-inch baking dish (or any other, large 3-quart pan); set aside.
- PREPARE FILLING: Pulse crackers in food processor until finely ground. Add cottage cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and process until smooth. Place mixture into quart-sized plastic bag, seal and snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe 2 tablespoons filling into each shell.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Nestle filled shells, seam side up, on top of meat sauce. Evenly distribute remaining sauce over shells. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling around edges, 30-35 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake until cheese is just melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve.
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