Healthy Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Shells

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I've been holding onto this recipe for mushroom and spinach stuffed shells for weeks. It just looked like so.much.work. I loved that it was packed full of veggies as I usually like to make my dinners 'one pot meals.' Meaning, I don't make any separate vegetable sides as the main dish has enough in there. I tweaked the recipe a bit to cut the work time down significantly and made these yesterday afternoon. I wasn't sure how they'd turn out given most stuffed shells are stuffed full of delicious cheese, and this uses as much cottage cheese as regular cheese, but it was amazing!

Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 20-22 jumbo pasta shells (cook a few extra since some will break!)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces of white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed/pressed dry
  • 1.5 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I love Newmans Own Sockarooni!)
  • Extra cheese to sprinkle on top

Directions

  • Make the shells. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the shells, and cook for about 7 minutes (soft but still firm.) Rinse under cold water, drizzle with olive oil so they don't stick together, and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add mushrooms and salt and cook 6-7 minutes. Add spinach and cook 2 minutes, until heated through.
  • Let the onion veggie mix cool for a few minutes and transfer to a large bowl. Add to that bowl the cottage cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, and egg.
  • Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Brush a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
  • Pour half of your spaghetti sauce into the baking dish. Fill each shell with 2-3 T. of the filling and cram as many as you can in there! My dish fit 21. Once it's full of shells pour the rest of the sauce on and add some more shredded cheese on top. However much you like. Live big.
  • Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 (until it's bubbling.)

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Since my husband hates onions and mushrooms I'm looking forward to leftovers for days with this! I love that the cottage cheese adds some protein to the shells, and they are full of healthy vegetables. Growing up my brother and I were such picky eaters that my Mom could only make about 5 dishes. Stuffed shells was one of them. Of course her shells were void of any vegetables (we wouldn't touch 'em) and overflowing with Italian cheeses. I haven't had stuffed shells since she last made them for me, probably in high school, which is an embarrassingly long time ago now. I'm sure Moms tasted much better, but these still remind me of home.IMG_8962

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What's your favorite pasta dish?Β 

What other veggies would youΒ cram in those shells?