Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stuffed Shells (Freezer Meal)

We love this freezer meal! It has very simple ingredients but really tastes great and is an awesome freezer meal that reheats so well. I think I originally got this recipe from my friend Stacey. We've been in 2  freezer meal swaps together in 2 different states! I make these stuffed shells often because it's a great standby meal, you can cook the shells from frozen if you need to, and well it's just yummy.

Stuffed Shells Freezer Meal - makes 2 meals

Ingredients  for stuffed shells:
2, 12 oz  packages jumbo shell pasta
3 lbs 4% small curd cottage cheese (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or freeze dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or freeze dried)
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Ingredients needed for time of cooking:
2, 26 - 28 oz jars marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Freezer Meal Prep:
Cook jumbo shells according to package directions to al dente. Drain and cool in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Once you pick out all the broken ones you should have at least 60 shells. You will use 30 prepared shells for each meal.

Combine cheeses, eggs, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. To fill the shells I've found the easiest way is to use a standard size cookie scoop and place one scoop in each shell. Lay stuffed shells back on wax paper covered cookie sheets and freeze. Once shells are frozen divide shells evenly into 2 ziplock bags (each bag will have around 30 shells). Put 2 cups of mozzarella cheese into 2 quart size bags with 1 cup in each bag. Freeze each bag of shells with 1 bag of cheese. Store marinara sauce in your pantry until cooking time.

Cooking Instructions (for 1 meal):
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange frozen stuffed shells on top of sauce and pour remaining sauce evenly over the shells. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese; return to oven for a few minutes until cheese melts and shells are hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

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