Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara

Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

This dish goes straight from the freezer to oven - no thawing required. The fire-roasted tomatoes in the marinara sauce give the dish a subtle smoky flavor. You can also easily vary the filling by adding basil or oregano and a different cheese. (We tried fontina instead of mozzarella and threw in some arugula for a peppery bite.) Make some garlic bread and a green salad and dinner's on.

Yield: 2 casseroles, 5 servings per dish (serving size: about 4 stuffed shells and about 1/2 cup smoky marinara)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 470
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 15.7g
  • Saturated fat: 8.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 28.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 52.7g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Cholesterol: 47mg
  • Iron: 3.8mg
  • Sodium: 916mg
  • Calcium: 508mg

Ingredients

  • 1 pound jumbo shell pasta (40 shells)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (12-ounce) carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 6 cups Smoky Marinara
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Preparation

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Coat 2 (13 x 9-inch) baking dishes with cooking spray; set aside.
  4. Place cottage cheese and ricotta cheese in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese mixture, Asiago, and next 6 ingredients (Asiago through spinach).
  5. Spoon or pipe 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell. Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam sides up, in one prepared dish. Pour 3 cups Smoky Marinara over stuffed shells. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat procedure with remaining stuffed shells, Smoky Marinara, and mozzarella in remaining prepared dish.
  6. Cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  7. To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
  8. To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover frozen casserole with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the shells are thoroughly heated.
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