Yesterday I wrote about our Loco Moco dinner and making this meal at the same time (click for link to original post). What helped me was my meal plan for the month. I could look at it and realize I have a bit of extra time one night and another night with little time to make dinner. I could move meals around to make two meals at once. With a bit of help from my children it was easy and fun for us.
Another tip is if you are cooking meat look at your meal plan and cook enough meat for the rest of the week if you can. Refrigerate (or freeze depending on when you need it) the meat until you need to use it. Making chicken fingers one night? At the same time you can poach or bake extra chicken for casseroles, soup, or stir fries for a meal or two during the week. We tend to do this on Sunday afternoons because that is what works for us.
This was a delicious and fun meal. I made two pans of shells and could personalize the pans for my family. I like sausage on my pizza so I added Italian sausage to one pan. My kids like olives and green peppers so I could dice some of those into the cheese mixture. We had fun making this meal together.
This recipe looks like is has tons of ingredients but it is mostly cheese and spices. Other than the ricotta cheese and pasta you probably have most items in your refrigerator or pantry.
Pizza Stuffed Shells
- 1 (12 oz) box large shells (cooked according to package directions)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing and cooked through into small pieces
- 5 oz. pepperoni, sliced and quartered (I used turkey pepperoni to cut down on the grease)
- 1 cup of extras if desired such as diced green peppers, diced onions, chopped olives or any other favorite pizza toppings
- 3 cups ricotta cheese
- 12 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, freshly shredded
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- salt and pepper
- 24 oz. Spaghetti Sauce (or homemade sauce) – add additional basil, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder until it tastes like pizza sauce to your taste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook noodles (you don’t want them too soft) to just starting to soften. Drain and rinse in a colander.
- Mix ricotta, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, parsley, eggs, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese in a bowl until well combined. Fold in 2 oz. of pepperoni, cooked sausage and up to one cup of other toppings.
- In bottom of 13 x 9 casserole dish add about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Spread around bottom of dish.
- Stuff each shell with cheese filling to slightly more than full. Place shell, open side up, into casserole dish putting them close together so they don’t tip.
- Once all the shells are full spread 1 1/2 – 2 cups of sauce over the shells but not covering them completely. Sprinkle the top with the remaining pepperoni and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use or bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
- Once the shells are heated through and hot in the center remove from oven and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.