A Southern Grace: stuffed.

May 23, 2017



Chicken cheesesteak stuffed shells. That single word currently describes the way I feel 24-7.

I honestly don't think there's room for anything else inside my torso. This tiny human has crushed my organs and certainly has no qualms about karate kicking my ribs, but alas, I must eat. I've long been a fan of grazing throughout the day rather than eating three large meals, and that's serving me very well these days. Sometimes, though, supper is so good that I eat more than can comfortably fit inside my smushed stomach.

This was one of those suppers. Cheesesteaks are quite popular in our household, whether they be beef or chicken. Since I've gotten to the point where I keep ricotta in my fridge all the time, I sometimes find interesting ways to use it, and that's how this mash-up was created.

What you're getting is a creamy, cheesy filling riddled with sauteed onions, peppers, and meat, with spices reminiscent of a glorious cheesesteak sandwich. However, instead of a sub roll, the vehicle is a pasta shell. They're fun, they're easy, they're delicious, and I'm already contemplating what else I can realistically stuff into a pasta shell and eat.

Bonus: I made a full batch and froze half, ensuring that there will be at least one post-baby supper that is simple and satisfying.

Stuffed Shells for a Stuffed Woman
(printable recipe)
Serves 6-8
  • 1/2 box jumbo shells (about 20)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)(or beef)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the pasta until it is still a bit tougher than al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the peppers and onions and cook about 8-10 minutes, or until softened.
Remove the veggies from the pan and add the ground meat. Cook until browned, then drain excess fat.
Add the peppers, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and spices to the meat and stir to combine.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, and egg until thoroughly combined, then incorporate the meat mixture.
Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the meat, veggie, and ricotta mixture, and place into the bottom of a 7x12-inch baking dish.
Carefully pour the chicken broth in the baking dish around the shells; you might not need the full cup.
Bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Remove the foil* and continue baking until the top begins to brown, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

*At this point, I recommend adding a little more cheese to the top of each shell, whether it's mozzarella or Parmesan. Then, at the very end, broil it for a minute or two to get that crusty brown covering. I love a broiled cheesy top and will definitely do this step next time!


Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

What a terrific idea! I really enjoy stuffed shells and like your version a lot. Hang in there Grace…I can remember how you feel.

Angie's Recipes said...

A fantastic dinner idea. I love esp. that creamy filling!

Unknown said...

A perfect dinner recipe. It looks delicious. Yum Yum

Pam said...

Oh how I remember those days!!!! Grazing is definitely a more comfortable option at the end of pregnancy rather than big meals. Love the idea of stuffed shells. YUM!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

You crack me up, Grace! I love the titles of your posts :). These shells sounds soooo yummy! I'm a sucker for cheesy pasta. Hope your Tuesday is going well!

Gloria Baker said...

Grace this looki absolutely delicious I remember made someones like this many times, I will save this recipe !!

Velva said...

This indeed looks satisfying. I can see why you are enjoying these stuffed shells.

Excited for you!


Katerina said...

I would be also stuffed with such a delicious meal!

Food Gal said...

I don't know if anyone can ever turn down stuffed shells. And if they taste like a cheesesteak, then that's a double inducement to have seconds. ;)

All That I'm Eating said...

This sounds SO good, I love this idea!! I need to try this!

Marcelle said...

OOOh Grace, this is such a smart dish!! What a fun twist on two classics. I've already printed this one out because I know this one will be a hit with everyone, I really can't wait to make it! Nice recipe :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Yum! It would be hard to keep portion control in place with these yummy shells!