Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beef Stuffed Shells

This was a tricky recipe for me - mainly because it required making it early and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Normally this would be awesome for me but for some reason I kept leaving it until the night that I wanted to have it and then having to frantically make something else... I'm glad that I finally got around to making it the night before because it was delicious!! We scarfed down the shells and the kids thought that this was a fantastic meal!! These shells are definitely easier to stuff then the manicotti, which was another plus for me! :) So, make these for your family - just don't forget to make it the night before! :)

Beef Stuffed Shells
(recipe found in (Taste of home Healthy Cooking)

20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 1/4 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat italian cheese blend, divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) no salt added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup italian cheese blend, parmesan cheese, pesto, egg and half of the beef mixture.

In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and italian seasoning. Spread 3/4 cup into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon cheese mixture into pasta shells; place in baking dish. Combine remaining beef mixture and tomato mixture; spoon over shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serves: 10
Points: 7 per 2 shells

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