Stuffed Shells Casserole
I’ll admit it, sometimes I don’t want to cook or at least don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. For example I’m a huge fan of stuffed shells but they take much longer than I’m willing to spend on the average work night. So I decided to cut a few corners and make a stuffed shell casserole with all of the flavor and half the prep time. To further speed up the process I used some frozen pomodoro sauce, leftover form a large batch I made in my slowcooker. I swear one of the best things about my slow cooker is the ability to prepare huge batches of sauce (and other yummies!) and saving them for the future. I simply placed the frozen sauce in the fridge before I left for work and then zapped it a bit to finish the process, adding a few more leaves of basil to make sure it had the right taste.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach, well washed and torn
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 lb precooked small shells
2 cups favorite pasta sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400
- While oven preheats heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the spices and toss in the oil for 30 seconds before adding the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until soft then remove from heat and pour in to a large bowl.
- Add the spinach and ricotta cheese to the bowl and mix well.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, then top with a third of the mushroom and ricotta cheese mixture. Top with 1 cup of sauce and then repeat the layering finishing with the cheese mixture before topping with the remaining sauce. Finish with the shredded cheeses and then bake, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Remove the cover and then bake for a final 10-15 minutes, until cheese on top is brown and bubbling. Serve and enjoy!
The photo might not be the best, but it’s delicious and quick and easy – which is all that matters after a long day at work. I served this up with some oregano bread but would be just fine on it’s own.