Lazy Girls Cheesy Stuffed Shells are big tasty bites of cheese stuffed pasta, baked in a rich red tomato beef sauce. It’s exceptionally easy comfort food at its best!
Do you ever have one of those days where it’s all you can do to get dinner on the table? Well, I have some good news for you, because this Lazy Girls Cheesy Stuffed Shells is one of the best tasting shortcut casserole I’ve ever made!
I’m sure you’ve been there, where you’re so tired that everything seems funny and you already want to take a nap TOMORROW! Well, when I run out of energy, instead of making my Best Lasagna Dish or my Mama’s Meaty Manicotti, I’ll pull this recipe out of my Family’s Recipe Box and then put my feet up. I don’t know why I said I have a Family Recipe Box…it sounded good, but it’s really a pile of old torn out recipes in a shoe box (close enough). I love this Lazy Girls Cheesy Stuffed Shells recipe because it’s not fussy, easy to put together and it’s always a hit with a crowd. It turns out ridiculously yummy every single time.
When it comes to devouring this scrumptious dish, you immediately taste the incredibly rich Italian style tomatoey (yes, that’s a word even though it looks funny…I even looked it up to make sure) beef flavor and three creamy cheesy toppings. There’s the soft, moist mozzarella cheese, the nutty Parmesan cheese and of course the small curd cottage cheese (yes, it’s considered a sweet curd cheese, I also looked that up…now you know why I’m so tired). Then, you get the slight chewy bite of the perfectly baked pasta shells. Mama Mia, it’s fantastic!
Oh, in case you were wondering, the cottage cheese texture in this recipe is “so much” smoother than using traditional ricotta. It’s more flavorful in a casserole dish like this one. Kids are really going to like it much better than ricotta, which can taste a little grainy to them at times. They won’t even notice there’s cottage cheese in there.
So, when you’re lacking the “get-up-and-go”, please try this Lazy Girls Cheesy Stuffed Shells recipe. You can’t go wrong with this mouth-watering and comforting pasta casserole dish. Now you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go and look up why my second sock keeps disappearing in the dryer.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules (I used better than bouillon)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (16 oz) small curd cottage cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 24 jumbo shell noodles, cooked, drained and lightly oiled with olive oil so they don’t stick together
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9”x13” or 3-qt. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, onion and garlic. Break up and crumble the beef until the meat is cooked and no longer pink; drain.
- Stir in hot water, tomato paste, bouillon, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese, 1-cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture.
- Arrange shells in the baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.