Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sausage and Cottage Cheese Stuffed Shells Casserole

Who doesn't love a good pasta dish?  And what Mom doesn't love a good Casserole?  I have brought the 2 together to make an amazing dish!  Mom's love casseroles because they are easy and delicious.  And everyone loves pasta because it's so filling, yummy, and just reminds you of being home.  So here is a yummy casserole that I know your whole family will enjoy.  I promise they will even have seconds, and leftovers (if there are any!)  

Oh, and just a fun side note, you can make this dish ahead of time and freeze so you can have a dinner on hand on any given day!  I love it when I have this in my freezer!  Trust me, it's waaaaaay better than a stouffers meal.  :)

1 12oz package jumbo pasta shells
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 pound Italian ground sausage
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large egg
16oz cottage cheese
10oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, chopped further (or 10 ounces chopped fresh spinach)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 28oz can tomatoes with herbs, including the liquid, tomatoes broken up (or your favorite tomato or pasta sauce)
2 9x13 shallow baking dishes

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (just dump in about 2 Tbsp of salt). Cook the pasta shells according to the instructions on the package. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking up the sausage into smaller bits. Cook sausage until cooked through, and no pink remains. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell it really really well (about 30 seconds is all you'll need). Remove pan from heat.

Beat the egg lightly in a large bowl. Mix in the cottage cheese, chopped spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, basil, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and sausage mixture. Fill each cooked pasta shell with some of the cottage cheese, spinach, sausage mixture.

Spread 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes over the bottom of each of the baking dishes. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells in the dishes. Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top of the pasta shells.

(At this point you can make ahead, to freeze (up to four months) or refrigerate before cooking. If freezing, cover with foil, then wrap with plastic wrap.)

Heat oven to 375°F. Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, bake uncovered for 10 more minutes until cheese is melted and a little brown on top.

This will serve about 8 people, depending on how much each person eats.


  1. This is the same recipe as on the Skinny Taste website, but with higher fat ingredients substituted in.

  2. Oh awesome. I just kind of came up with this based on a recipe my mom made growing up. It's cool to see the other stuff people use to make it. Thanks for letting me know about the Skinny Taste!!