Are you browsing the net to know how to make stuffed pasta shells with sausage and cottage cheese?
These pizza stuffed shells with cottage cheese are oversized pasta shells that are loaded with cheese, sausages, and pepperoni.
They are called pizza cottage cheese stuffed shells because they taste like pizza.
There are lots of stuffed shells recipes on the internet, but this pizza stuffed shells recipe is very simple and easy, so newbies can also give it a try.
The best thing about the sausage and cheese stuffed shells is that they can be prepared ahead and frozen for later use.
If you are thinking about inviting your friends or relatives to dinner, then you should definitely serve these delicious pizza stuffed shells with sausage and cream cheese because they are a crowd-pleaser.
How Do You Make Stuffed Shells With Cottage Cheese?
Begin by boiling your pasta shells, ensuring they are perfectly al dente for filling.
In my kitchen, the magic starts when mixing ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses with seasonings and an egg to create a rich, creamy mixture.
Utilizing a spoon or a piping bag, I carefully fill each cooked shell with this cheese mixture.
Next, I pour marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, arrange the shells on top, and sprinkle more mozzarella over them.
The baking process begins covered, then finished uncovered to achieve that browned and bubbly perfection.
Finally, a sprinkle of fresh parsley is all it takes before you serve and enjoy this comforting dish.
How To Make Stuffed Pasta Shells?
- ½ cup chopped pepperoni
- ½ pound sausage
- 1 jar (26-oz) spaghetti sauce
- 16 oz cottage cheese
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 25 jumbo shells
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Grated Parmesan for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray lightly.
- Cook jumbo sausage stuffed pasta shells according to package instructions, then drain and cool.
- Brown the sausage in pan, while the pasta is cooking. Stir in garlic for the last minute of cooking and then drain sausage.
- Mix sausage, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl.
- Stuff pasta shells with cheese mixture and put in the prepared baking pan. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and spaghetti sauce.
- Bake how to make stuffed pasta shells in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly. Sprinkle Parmesan on top of stuffed shells cottage cheese. Serve and enjoy.
Expert Tips For The Perfect Pasta
- Undercook your shells by 1-2 minutes; they’ll continue to cook in the oven, ensuring a perfect texture.
- Opt for whole milk ricotta and mozzarella cheeses to enrich the flavor—save calories by choosing part skim options if preferred.
- Skip the pre-shredded bags of cheese. Grate your own to avoid anti-caking agents and preservatives that tend to prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.
- Assemble your dish up to 8 hours before you plan to bake. Cover with foil and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Add extra baking time to compensate for the chilled pasta.
- Choose a high quality jarred marinara sauce. I typically use Newman’s Own or Classico brands for their robust flavors and perfect consistency with stuffed shells.
Customizing Your Stuffed Pasta Shells With Cottage Cheese
Transform classic stuffed shells into a personalized culinary creation by experimenting with flavor variations.
- Add protein like cooked, crumbled ground beef, Italian sausage, turkey, or shredded chicken to the cheese filling for a hearty touch.
- Incorporate vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and kale; remember to finely chop and cook them before mixing.
- Swap the sauce for a creamy Alfredo or a hearty bolognese style meat sauce to diversify the flavors of your dish.
- Explore different types of cheese beyond the three listed; consider cream cheese, small curd cottage cheese, provolone, fontina, asiago, or romano for new tastes.
Cottage Cheese Stuffed Shells Serving Suggestions
- Elevate your stuffed shells with a garnish of pecorino or Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley to enhance flavors.
- Always serve with extra marinara sauce on the side, allowing guests to spoon the sauce over each bite for a perfectly sauced meal.
- Complement the dish with a green salad—options like homemade Caesar, arugula, beet, or simple green salad pair wonderfully.
- Don’t forget the bread; whether it’s a crusty loaf, rosemary focaccia, garlic knots, or dinner rolls, it completes the experience.
Can You Freeze Sausage And Cheese Stuffed Shells?
Freezing lasagna shells with cottage cheese is a great way to keep them fresh for months.
Whether assembled and unbaked or leftover and cooked, they can be tightly covered and stored in the freezer.
For baked pepperoni stuffed shells, place them in an airtight container or zip-top bag.
Unbaked shells should be in a baking dish, wrapped with storage wrap and foil.
Always thaw in the fridge overnight before baking or reheating in the microwave in seconds intervals until heated through.
FAQs About How To Make Stuffed Pasta Shells
1. How Long Are Stuffed Shells Good For?
Keep stuffed shells using cottage cheese fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best results, store your baked meal in the pan, covered with foil, or transfer to an airtight container.
2. Can You Make Stuffed Shells Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely, stuffed shells with sausage are perfect as a make-ahead meal. Assemble in a baking dish, cover with foil, and store in the fridge. When baking, add extra minutes to the time to account for the chilled temperature.
3. How To Store Stuffed Shells?
Store leftover stuffed shells in an airtight container in the fridge. They remain perfect for up to 4 days and can be easily reheated in the microwave.
4. How Do You Heat Up Stuffed Shells?
To reheat your sausage stuffed pasta shells, place them in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.