Chicken Sausage + Spinach Stuffed Shells

chicken sausage spinach stuffed shells pasta

Shell we? I think we shell.
It may sound like a tongue-twister, but this recipe is a tongue tantalizer if you ask me haha! Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with lighter but extra flavorful chicken sausage, and adding the spinach lets you sneak in some veggies at the same time. Using the make-your-own-marinara trick I've showed you before, these will only seeeeem like you spent all day making din. Enjoy!

Chicken Sausage + Spinach Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr | Serves 4+

Ingredients

stuffed shells
  • 1 package of jumbo shells (also known as Conchiglie Gigante)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 links chicken sausage, casing removed (can buy pre-cooked or raw)
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed with moisture removed
  • 1 8-oz container light ricotta cheese 
  • Parmesan sprinkles
  • salt and pepp
marinara sauce
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
The Steps
  1. Cook sausage: In a medium sized pan with higher sides, warm up your olive oil over medium heat. Add in your chicken sausage (remember to remove those casings... and don't think too much about what they are) and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. If the sausage is uncooked, it will be easier to break up and will take about 8 or so minutes to cook (just make sure it isn't too pink). If you bought pre-cooked sausage, you'll use a little more muscle to break up the pieces but you can cook very quickly for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set on plate.

  2. Saute onion and garlic: In the same pan, add in half of your onion and cook over medium-low heat for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in your jar of marinara and red pepper flakes if you're using, and turn heat to low/simmer. 

  3. Preheat oven + boil water: Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in a small handful of salt. Add your pasta and cook as package directs (around 7 mins). Drain your pasta and rinse carefully with cool water.

  4. Make filling: Mix your cooled chicken sausage and ricotta cheese together. Before you add your spinach, be sure to squeeze out as MUCH water as possible before adding to the mix (I literally strangled the poor leaves) or else your mix will be turned to spinach-water-soup, which is gross. Add in your salt and pepper (since everything is cooked you can taste the mix and add more salt/pepper if necessary). 

  5. Fill your shells: In a Pyrex glass pan, (I believe I used a 9x13" but it really doesn't matter- just use whatever size you have that accommodates however many shells you want to make. I estimated 4 shells per person and that was plenty!) scoop enough marinara to cover the bottom of the pan. Take one pasta shell in one hand and use a spoon to scoop out your sausage/spinach mix and stuff the pasta shell. Place with the opening up into the pan. 

  6. Bake shells: Continue with all shells. Cover the shells with the remaining marinara (you can use as much or as little as you'd like). Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes (be sure to watch and make sure your cheese isn't getting to golden). 
If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, let me know what you think + be sure to tag any pictures with #TheSavvySpoon on Instagram!


xoxo
Cay

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