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Freezer Stuffed Shells

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Freezer Stuffed Shells
Kimberley K. Eggleston
Having a few freezer meals on hand can come in really handy on nights when you are busy and need a quick and healthy meal. These cheese stuffed shells freeze well, and make for a nice and healthy convenient meal the day you decide to serve them. To save even more time, make a double batch. Eat one batch for dinner that night, then freeze the second batch to have a couple weeks later. There's nothing like taking something out of the freezer, popping it in the oven, and having a nice healthy homemade dinner one hour later, with very little clean up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box large pasta shells (12 oz)
  • 2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled marinara sauce

Preparation:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta shells, and cook for five minutes, until al dente. You do not want to overcook the shells or they will become mushy when you thaw and reheat the dish at a later time. The shells should be pliable, but not completely soft. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and set them aside until the are cool.

2. In a separate, large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the spinach, Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, and black pepper.

Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (you may want to consider using a disposable baking dish so that you are not tying up a pan that you would otherwise use regularly in the kitchen). Assemble the shells by filling each shell with about 3 tablespoons of the cheese and spinach mixture. Then set the shells into the baking dish with the open side up. As you fill the shells, place them next to each other but do not overcrowd them.

Once the shells are filled, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of bottled marinara sauce over each shell. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over the shells.

To prepare the shells for freezing, cover the baking dish tightly with tin foil. Label the dish, and place in the freezer.

On the day you want to eat the stuffed shells, preheat the oven to 375. Remove the dish with the shells from the freezer, and place it in the oven. Cook for 1 hour, or until the shells are heated through. The shells may take a little extra time to thaw, so be sure to allow at least an extra fifteen minutes or so if needed.

Serves 8

Per Serving Calories 333, Fat 9gm, Pro 21 gm, Carbs 40gm

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