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Two Peas and Their Pod: Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms

I never get sick of Italian food. Sometimes I think I am Italian, my name is Maria, I have dark hair, I could pass, right? :) I love pasta, pizza, gelato, panini, etc. Italian food always hits the spot for me.

I recently made stuffed shells for dinner. I started with the classic ricotta spinach mixture. I also added in portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, and red peppers. I made a homemade marinara sauce and topped the shells off with cheese.

I loved peeking in on the bubbling shells that were oozing with cheese. The house smelled amazing too. I am glad I added in the extra vegetables, the portobello mushrooms and red peppers worked well with the spinach and cheese.

I think this is a great dish to serve to guests. You can prepare the filling and stuff the shells in advance. Keep the stuffed shells covered in the refrigerator until you are ready for dinner. Bake them 35 minutes before the guests arrive and you will have an amazing dinner with no last minute hassles.

Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms

(Printable Recipe)

1 T olive oil

1 large portobello mushroom, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 15 oz ricotta cheese - I used low fat

1 egg

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)

1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and chopped (use a potato ricer to get rid of the water)

1/2 tsp dried basil

Dash of crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

About 3 cups of marinara sauce (I made my own, you can use store bought)

About 18 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente, read box instructions:)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish or Pyrex 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onion, cook until soft. Add in garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stir well. Add in the egg, spinach, dried basil, crushed red pepper,salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Mix well until creamy. Add the mushroom, onion, red pepper mixture.

Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of your sprayed baking dish. Place the cooked shells in the pan. Make sure they are spaced out evenly. Stuff each shell with cheese/veggie mixture. Use a spoon, it might get messy:)

Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells. Add the leftover mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. You want the shells to be bubbling with goodness. Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm.

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Blogger Beth (jamandcream) said...

I think I could live on Italian food too - Im so glad I live so close to Italy so I can get an authentic fix every now and again!

5:16 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

These look delicious! Italian food is by far my favorite. I like sneaking veggies into classic dishes too.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Looks so yummy! Stuffed shells is such a fabulous meal for a number of reasons: 1. Its delicious (duhh), 2. You can make tons and freeze some for an easy meal later, 3. The alterations possible are endless!

5:21 AM  
Blogger Netts Nook said...

I love stuffed shells yours look perfect. What a great idea to add the portobello mushrooms.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I totally agree on the Italian food. ;-) These look great!!

5:50 AM  
Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, so flavorful! a wonderful dish!



5:55 AM  
Blogger kat said...

A great dish, it looks so warm & comforting

6:28 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Great combo of flavors in there Maria the Italian! I am Italian but my name is Robin Sue and I have green eyes- oh well!

6:38 AM  
Blogger Creative Classroom Core said...

What a tasty and comforting sounding dish! Great flavor combo!

6:41 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

Italian food is definitely comfort food. I haven't made stuffed shells for a while. Yours look delicious!

6:44 AM  
Blogger Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Your stuffed shells look beautiful. I love the addition of portobello mushrooms!

6:56 AM  
Blogger Culinary Wannabe said...

Oh yummy! Stuffed shells always feel so decadent. This with a nice glass of wine would be the most perfect dinner.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Those stuffed shells look amazing! I am on a mushroom kick, so those sound perfect for me!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Audrey said...

I love all the extra flavors you added to the spinach-ricotta mixture! I'm going to follow your lead the next time I make these...which coicidentally (I'm not kidding!) is going to be tonight! Love the potato ricer idea too. (My moving man thought it was the world's largest garlic press when he was packing my stuff.)

7:30 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

The stuffed shells look delicious. I could easily eat Italian good every night!

7:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love Italian food too and I definitely couldn't pass for Italian :) Stuffed shells are one of my favorites and yours look awesome!

7:37 AM  
Blogger Becky at VintageMixer said...

Great Dish- I love everything in it!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Stuffed shells are a family favorite here - you can't go wrong with the additions to the fillings.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I am never sick of Italian either and this looks so delicious. Welcome back!

7:53 AM  
Blogger Shelby said...

I love pasta! I especially love pasta that keeps the filling contained (meaning I don't care for lasagna! lol). These look delicious!

7:54 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

yup. that's it. we're moving in. get that spare bedroom ready.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Donna-FFW said...

The filling in these shells sounds wonderful

8:08 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Mmmm, these look delicious!

8:13 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

OK seriously delicious!!! I love stuffed shells but I can never find whole wheat ones :( I need to find some quick so I can make this!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Stuffed shells is my all time favorite dish. My birthday pick each and every year.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

Welcome back from your trip! Very tasty looking stuffed shells!!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Gaby said...

omg yummmmm! I just made cannelloni with the same filling... its my fav!

8:56 AM  
Blogger grace said...

stuffed shells are a favorite italian dish for me--minimal pasta and lots of choice cheese. delightful dish, maria, and i need to tell you how much i enjoy the stunning head lamp in the post below. :)

9:11 AM  
Blogger theUngourmet said...

This looks delicious! Love the spinach in there!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

I AM Italian (part) and this looks de-lish!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Veron said...

Hubby is the same way about Italian...I think he was in a previous life. that ricotta shell looks absolutely delicious!

12:16 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I am going to have to make your homemade marinara sauce, because you use it in so many different things!

12:24 PM  
Blogger How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I am SO down with Italian food! These pictures made my tummy growl! ;P

12:35 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I LOVE Italian food! Your stuffed shells look so good! Love the mushroom addition.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

Looks so good! And, you're right, it's the perfect dish for company!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't get enough Italian food either. It is just so good and versatile. These look simply scrumptious!

2:22 PM  
Blogger The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love stuffed shells. They're a great way to show a little creativity and still be traditional.

You're the opposite of me. I AM Italian, but no one believes me because my name is Rachel.

I'm so glad you had a good vacation. With the weather beign so chilly and rainy in this neck of the woods, I envy you the warm sunshine.

I just have to know: With all of this delicious food you make, how do you manage to look so great in a bikini????

2:31 PM  
Blogger Monica H said...

This looks great! I would so eat this!

4:07 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I think I was switched at birth... I'm really Italian! LOl These shells look wonderful!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Sarah R said...

This brings back fond memories of birthday parties @ my best friend's place. Thanks!

5:26 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I do something very similar for first dates because it can be prepped ahead of time so I can relax before she shows up.

I love these types of dishes too because they have endless options.

Oh yeah most people think I should be Italian too so yeah us!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

I love Italian food, especially pasta dishes! It looks delicious.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Hilary said...

I am definitely making these this week.....they look awesome....and I LOVE your blog.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

This is a family favorite. I could live off of Italian food too!

7:03 PM  
Blogger La Bella Cooks said...

I love stuffed shells! I grew up on these which my grandmother would make for me when I stayed with her. Definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Aggie said...

I'll adopt you as my Italian sister!! YUM Maria, these look awesome!! great pics!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I could pass for an Italian at least once a week as far as my culinary tastes go. These shells with the mishrooms added are amazing.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Ha, So I'm guessing you're not Italian? That's ok, you don't have to be to appreciate stuffed shells :) Nice job on the veggie front!

6:48 AM  
Blogger sugarlens said...

I love Itlian food too - filling and delicious! I especially like lots of noodles.

Nice job on your stuffed shells!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

Now those looks amazing and this has everything my children love especially the spinach! Thanks for sharing and terrific photos!

7:12 AM  
Blogger Stacey Snacks said...

I havent stuffed shells in years.
I like the addition of portobellos!
Great pics!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Carini Blogger said...

Well, these looked so good that I made them today! My half Italian son said, "Best shells ever! The vegetables in the cheese mixture make it taste so much lighter than the usual shells."

I didn't use frozen spinach. Instead, I emptied a bag of baby spinach into a dry pot and cooked it on low, stirring occasionally until it was completely wilted. Then I chopped it up and used it as the recipe instructed.

I scraped the gills out of the mushroom before chopping. You didn't say to do that or not.

I had more filling than 18 shells could hold, so next time (and there will be a next time on this recipe), I'll cook up 22 to 24 shells.

Thank you for posting this. I was looking for a better stuffed shells recipe. This one's a keeper.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Thanks everyone!

Carini-I am so glad you liked the shells! Thanks for letting me know!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

That looks heavenly! I am a happy camper with a plate of Italian food, too.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Cakebrain said...

wow! these look amazing! I was just thinking about making stuffed shells but couldn't find them in the market. I love how yours has a filling that has my favourite ingredients. yum!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Delectable Dining said...

This looks like a perfect meal! I'm seriously dying to make it now! :)

10:33 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Looks delicious - great flavors!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Live.Love.Eat said...

yes, Yes, YES. This is right up my alley. Up and down and all throughout my alley. So Love it!!!!

1:24 PM  
Blogger NKP said...

They are gorgeous! So colourful and delicious.
I want to be Italian when I grow up...

2:30 PM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Honestly, I thought you were Italian!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Reeni said...

With dishes like this you sure would fool anyone!! This rocks!

5:35 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

That looks really delicious. Love the flavors you have going on.

6:40 AM  
Blogger kellypea said...

I haven't made these in a zillion years and when I did they didn't look as good as yours. And because I'm starving right now, it's just about killing me!

4:36 PM  
Blogger test it comm said...

Those stuffed shells look really food!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Spryte said...

A perfectly delicious dinner!

9:11 AM  
Blogger Peter M said...

With food looking this good (sans viande), you make it very easy to like Italian food every day!

I've got some shells in the pantry that still need cooking.

11:41 AM  
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