This Pesto Stuffed Case is a cute little package of pasta with all of the ingredients that you need, and it reminds me of a young lasagna that has not yet developed into its adult form.
It contains all the same ingredients as the spinach lasagna, including ricotta, mozzarella, Italian herbs, and Parmesan, but it is in a pasta shell that is easy to eat.
Furthermore, Apronese recommends using store-bought pesto in place of the filling as a way to get all your seasoning needs done at one time.
Too quick, too easy. I just wanted to let you know that these little Pesto Stuffed Cases freeze beautifully, so don’t be scared to make batches of them in large quantities. Just let them cool completely after baking, then transfer them to a freezer safe container and store them in your freezer for a later date.
Stuffed Shells: What Should I Serve with Them?
There is nothing more comforting than a classic comfort meal like this, and I suggest paired with something simple like Homemade Garlic Bread and a simple salad of baby greens and Italian Dressing to round out the meal.
I highly recommend that you add any leftover vegetables in your fridge (carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms) to your side salad to provide you with extra vegetables!
Can I Make This Many Pesto Stuffed Shells?
Using this recipe, I was able to make approximately 22 stuffed shells, but your mileage may vary from mine.
As a precautionary measure, I recommend boiling about 25 shells if you have extra filling or some of them rip during the stuffing process. I used approximately two-thirds of a box of 12oz. Jumbo shells, which yielded 22 shells in total.
Do I Have the Option of Making Stuffed Shells in Advance?
Certainly, you could assemble the stuffed shells the day before, refrigerate them, then bake them the next day not knowing that the dish will be chilled when it goes into the ovens. You may need to add about two minutes to the baking time, in order to account for the fact that the dish will be chilled before it goes in.
Pesto Stuffed Shells: How Do You Freeze Them?
It is my preference to freeze my Pesto Stuffed Shells after baking them, which I do in a Ziploc storage container. I divide the stuffed shells into single servings (each serving has about two stuffed shells), chill them thoroughly in the refrigerator, and then transfer them to the freezer the following day.
Pesto Stuffed Shells
The Pesto Stuffed Shells are made with two cheeses, pesto, spinach, and a little bit of mozzarella cheese. Ideal for meal prep or freezing portioned portions so that you can enjoy them later!
Servings: 5 (4 shells each)
- 1/2 lb. frozen spinach, thawed ($0.85)
- 15 oz. ricotta ($1.99)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella ($1.00)
- 1/2 cup basil pesto ($0.85)
- 1 large egg ($0.27)
- 8 oz. jumbo pasta shells (about 22-25 shells) ($1.66)
- 24 oz. pasta sauce ($1.19)
- If your spinach has never been defrosted, thaw it completely, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Add the spinach to a large bowl along with the ricotta, mozzarella, pesto, and egg, and stir until everything is well combined. Place the spinach in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- In a large pot of water, bring the shells to a boil, then add the shells to the boiling water and cook them just until they’re tender, being careful not to overcook the pasta. A shell will become more prone to tearing during the stuffing process if it boils for a long time. To cool the shells enough to handle, drain them into a colander and rinse them for a short period of time with cool water.
- I would suggest preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread about 1 cup of pasta sauce in a large casserole dish and pop it into the oven.
- In a casserole dish, arrange the shells upright in the dish and stuff each one individually with a couple tablespoons of the cheese, pesto, and spinach mixture. Once each shell has been stuffed, place the dish on top of it.
- The next step is to fill all of the shells with the stuffed pasta sauce, and then pour the two cups of pasta sauce over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. Serve immediately.
Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 522.26 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 54.4 g ・ Protein: 23.04 g ・ Fat: 23.88 g ・ Sodium: 1203.6 mg ・ Fiber: 6 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Pesto Stuffed Shells: How to Make Them – Step By Step Photos
I started by preparing the filling for the shells first. Make sure your 1/2 pound frozen spinach has completely thawed, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Combine the spinach with 15 ounces of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 large egg, and 1/2 cup pesto to make the filling.
Those ingredients should be combined with a mixer until they are well combined, and then they should be refrigerated until they are ready for use.
In a large pot, heat the water and add about 22-25 jumbo pasta shells (about 8 ounces each). Be sure to cook the shells until they are still firm but not too dry.
Over cooking the shells makes it very difficult to stuff them without it ripping out. The pasta needs to be drained in a colander, and rinsed with cool water briefly to make them easier to handle.
It is recommended that you preheat the oven to 350oF and spread about 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish (about 9’x13′).
Fill each pasta shell with about two tablespoons of the prepared spinach and pesto cheese filling, then place each one in the casserole dish, allowing them to bake for about an hour.
It is a good idea to line the shells up in a fairly tightly packed manner so they are well supported on all four sides.
On top of the shells, pour the remaining 2 cups of pasta sauce over them and stir to combine.
My feeling is that since the shells have cheese stuffed in them, I don’t feel the need to top them off with extra cheese… however, that’s just what I’m feeling at the moment.
In the preheated oven, bake the Pesto Stuffed Shells for approximately 30 minutes or until the sauce is a little bubbly and browned around the edges while the shells are being baked.
The pesto stuffed shells with the homemade garlic bread are the perfect complement to the pesto stuffed shells.
Don’t forget the recipe that Apronese shared with you today, let more of your friends know about this Pesto Stuffed Shells, because simplicity and deliciousness is what it brings.