Monday, September 22, 2014

French Onion Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach

These may look like any ol' stuffed shells - but these little gems have a secret ingredient that packs a whole lot of flavor. I'll blame it on my recent craving for Onion Dip and that solo packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix that has been staring me dead in the face every time I open the pantry. That little blue box has been begging me to put it in everything, but I've been patient and waiting for the perfect time. This was it folks, this was it.

I can totally admit that I was a touch weary of adding onion-y goodness to these stuffed shells. I mean, onion goes great with sausage and great with spinach - but tomato pasta sauce? This was one of those dishes that had me second guessing myself up until the point I was standing in the kitchen devouring my first Cheesy French Onion Stuffed Shell with Sausage and Spinach.

I mixed the Onion Soup in with all the other tasty ingredients I'd normally put in stuffed shells, but this time I let the mixture sit for a little to allow the flavors to marinade together.

Then I crammed the shells full of the onion-y, cheesy goodness. Crammed.

Poured some sauce on top and sprinkled some cheese, then baked them for about 35-40 minutes. Let me tell you, if you make these your kitchen is going to smell amazing. Don't open a window or the neighbors are going to come knocking and asking what it is your cooking.

On second thought, this recipe makes 30 shells - open the window and invite them over!!

Onion Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach
makes approximately 30 stuffed jumbo shells
1¼ cup Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled into smaller pieces.
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
15oz. ricotta cheese
5oz. frozen chopped spinach, derosted and squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Lipton Onion soup mix
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
30 jumbo shells, cooked according to package
1 jar pasta sauce {I used Newman’s Own Mushroom Marinara}
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Mix together first 8 ingredients. {italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, onion soup mix, italian seasoning and black pepper}
3. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
4. Stuff each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture. Place in baking dish. {I filled up my dish with as many as possible to try and help keep all the shells upright.}
5. Carefully pour more pasta sauce over the top of pasta shells (I didn't measure the amount I used, just eyeballed it.) and sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Devour and enjoy!


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