Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recipe for Beef & Spinach Shells w/ Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce

Wow! What a title, huh?
A tad bit on the long side,
but it could honestly be longer.
No kidding.

So I tried out my idea for this dish tonight.
I liked the flavor a lot,
but my original sauce was too heavy.
I revised the recipe based on my first impressions
and here's what I've got!

If you give it a go, let me know what you think! =)
Beef & Spinach Shells w/ Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce
Makes 10 stuffed shells or 4 servings

Beef Mixture:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. packed spinach, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thawed and squeezed dry)
4 oz. cream cheese (regular or reduced-fat), softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce:
1 8 oz. can Roasted Garlic flavor tomato sauce
1 8 oz. can Basil, Garlic, & Oregano flavor tomato sauce
1/2 C. packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. shredded Italian cheese blend
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese (regular or reduced-fat), softened
1/2 TBS. sugar

Additional Ingredients:
10 large pasta shells
1 C. shredded Italian cheese blend

1. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook large pasta shells according to box directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and keep in pot with a small amount of cold water to keep noodles from sticking together; set aside until ready to stuff.

2. Brown ground beef in medium skillet; drain fat. Add in onion, garlic, and spinach. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir in cream cheese, salt, and pepper, combining well. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before stirring in the Italian cheese.

3. In a small saucepan, heat both cans of tomato sauce over medium-high heat. When heated through, stir in the Italian cheese blend and grated Parmesan cheese until melted. Add the cream cheese, blending it into the sauce mixture (a whisk or a hand blender may be helpful). Add the basil and sugar, stirring to combine. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium baking dish, place a small amount of sauce in bottom. Drain pasta shells and stuff with beef mixture. Arrange shells seam-side up in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend. Bake for 20 minutes, then place under broiler and broil top until cheese is slightly browned. Serve with a nice green salad and garlic bread!


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Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect

I just said to my husband over the weekend that I want to try making stuffed shells. This recipe looks great, and I bookmarked it to try soon. Thank you!


wow..this looks fantastic. i know my husband would love this...and so would i! Thank you for linking up to TNSC we are so glad to have you!


Cream cheese what a good idea. I would have thought ricotta but you have to buy so much, more than you can use and it goes to waste. I will try it. Thanks.


this looks awesome!


This looks delish! I love that I find fun new things through my tasty tuesdays. Thanks so much for linkin up. Hope I'll see ya again soon.


This looks delicious! I love your choice of flavors!

I did a review of a cookbook recently and the author had really long title for her recipes. Hard to spit out when your kids ask what's for dinner, but I appreciated the descriptive titles. : )

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet

Oooh, this looks delish!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

I'm so keeping this recipe! It looks fantastic, thanks!!


This recipe sounds amazing! I've made stuffed shells before, but usually keep them pretty basic and plain. I like the idea of the beef and spinach. Mmmmm!

Thanks for sharing! Thanks for visiting my blog last week too! (Baked Veggie Fritters)

Under the Big Oak Tree

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