Stuffed Shells

I’m ending week one of my WeightWatchers commitment.

So far, so good!

There were challenging days in that we went out three times with friends and I didn’t want my ‘diet’ to interfere with my friendships and social life.

Other than counting points and planning ahead – it wasn’t so bad. I just found myself planning a day ahead with meals and preparing good meals for Hubby and me.

There are so many terrific recipes out there and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing taste…just need to think differently.

One of my favorite to-go blogs is I loved Gina’s blog before I committed to WeightWatchers! I often go there looking for inspiration and meal ideas.

Towards the end of the week, we were craving pasta and as I was going through her recipes, I was thrilled as I fell upon her Stuffed Shells recipe. It was a throwback in time for me as I used to make this ALL the time for my family! And never thought it to be healthy – or low fat!

So between her recipe and mine – this is what we had:

Saute finely chopped onion, garlic and turkey sausage together until browned and the onion/garlic is soft and fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning (Penzy’s is the best!), freshly chopped basil and salt/pepper to taste.

In the meantime, cook up a box of large shells in salted boiling water until al dente. (This is important for the shells need to hold their form for stuffing.)

Chop up a handful of fresh spinach and saute in a lightly sprayed pan until wilted.

Combine Mozzarella cheese, low fat Ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese with one egg.

Blend in sauteed spinach with the cheese mixture…

Fill those little shells with cheese filling. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with 2/3 of the tomato sauce; place shells on top and drizzle the rest of the sauce over shells.

Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

The only word I heard from my family was “Amazing!”

Stuffed Shells
A Kitchen Muse: Adapted from
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 8
Low Fat and Delicious!
  • Box of Barilla Jumbo Shells
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage
  • 32 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Boil water and cook shells to al dente. (You may not use all the shells from the box; it will depend on how much filling you use in them)
  2. Saute onions and garlic in oil.
  3. Add turkey sausages (out of casing) and brown until cooked, breaking up in small pieces. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and basil, then simmer on low.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°.
  5. Saute chopped spinach in small saute pan until wilted.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, spinach, mozzarella, and parmesan.
  7. Fill each cooled and drained shell with cheese mixture.
  8. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish; covering the bottom of the dish with ⅔ of the sauce.
  9. Top shells with remaining sauce.
  10. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes; uncover foil and bake 5 more minutes.

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