This spin on the classic lasagna will leave you guilt free! These spinach stuffed shells will leave you with the same satisfaction you get from the well-known Italian dish, but in a much more unique way. It is a step up from the simply layered meal due to its use of lighter ingredients such as cottage cheese and turkey meat. Furthermore, it is a fun way to serve those hungry kiddos!
Lasagna can leave you feeling so heavy. We all love feeling full, but it’s much more satisfying to be full with a meal you know was beneficial for your body.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe Stuffed Shells With Spinach
- Protein Rich Each shell is stuffed with both cheese and turkey meat which are both extremely high in protein! The turkey meat and variety of cheeses will not only make the meal satisfying, but it will leave your body feeling refueled.
- Veggie Packed – Spinach is one of the star ingredients of this recipe. This superfood contains high levels of calcium. It also contains vitamin A and vitamin C, and it is high in fiber.
How to make the best stuffed shells recipe
Get that oven hot and ready! Preheat it to 350 degrees F and spray your favorite casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. This allows for an easy serving process later on. Then, cook the pasta shells as instructed by the packaging. Drain and set aside.
Over medium-high heat, sauté ground turkey meat in a large skillet. Once the meat is browned, turn down the heat to a low temperature.
Add in the frozen spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, and egg to the turkey. Season this mixture with garlic powder, onion powder, fennel seed, salt, and pepper. Cook it up for 5-7 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Then, set it aside to cool.
Time to get saucy! Pour the marinara into a casserole dish and spread evenly. Next, stuff the noodles with the turkey-cheese mixture. Some kids may get picky with the amount of stuffing in their pasta, so feel free to stuff some more than others. This is a great way to introduce new flavors!
Line the casserole dish with your beautifully stuffed shells. Be sure to nestle them into the sauce in order to get a good coating of flavor.
Here’s a pro tip for you: Top it off with cheese! A pasta dish like this really benefits from a final coating of cheese (use the ½ cup of mozzarella you have left over!). In the oven, it produces a nice golden brown topping to the dish that not only makes it look appealing, but adds even more texture and flavor.
Finally, bake this dish for 15 minutes, or until cheese and marinara are bubbly. Enjoy warm!
- Spray your casserole dish with a nonstick spray. This will make serving hungry kiddos a lot easier!
- Keep an eye on the turkey-cheese mixture. You don’t want it to burn, so reduce the heat if necessary.
- Be sure to evenly coat the bottom of the casserole dish with marinara sauce so all noodles get even flavoring. Adjust the amount of sauce used to your liking!
- Vegetable options: Add to the stuffing- artichoke hearts, grated carrots, zucchini
- Protein options: Substitute or add to the stuffing- tofu, beef
- Can you freeze these?
- This recipe is best fresh, but can be frozen if necessary.
- How long will it keep in the fridge?
- You can keep this dish in the fridge for 1-2 days. To reheat, a microwave or oven will do! You can even heat up some marinara sauce on the side or sprinkle the tops with more cheese if there is a lack in flavor.
Looking for more easy dinner ideas?
Spinach Stuffed Shells
A healthy twist to a classic recipe
- 1 box jumbo shell pasta 12 ounce
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 16 ounces cottage cheese
- 1 egg large
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried fennel seed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jar marinara 24 ounce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a medium-large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large pot, cook shells as instructed on packaging. Drain and set aside to cool.
Over med-high heat, sauté ground turkey in a large skillet.
Once browned, turn down heat to medium heat and add frozen spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese and egg to the turkey.
Season with garlic powder, onion powder, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7, or until liquid has reduced. Set aside to cool.
Next pour the marinara into the casserole dish and spread evenly.
Once cooled, distribute the turkey-cheese mixture among the pasta shells.
Line the casserole dish with stuffed shells, making sure to nestle them into the sauce.
Sprinkle the tops with the remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese and marinara are bubbly. Enjoy warm.