Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lemon and Basil Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I've been really bored by the stuff that we "usually"eat lately, so I've been trying some new variations of old favorites. My husband LOVES stuffed shells, but my kids tend to resist marinara sauce. (I know, weird kids!) I saw a recipe for lemon and ricotta stuffed shells on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a try using my own favorite recipes. My husband and kids really liked it. We thought it was a nice, fresh switch for summer! This is how I made it,

Ingredients for Filling -

1 big tub of cottage cheese (I used cottage cheese for affordability purposes!)
1 8 oz bag Italian blend cheese
About a half cup of Parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
Zest of one lemon
Fresh basil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients -

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%.)
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Zest of one lemon (Plus juice if desired. We thought it was a little too lemony with the juice!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions -

Mix all of your filling ingredients together in a big bowl. (Reserve a little Italian and/or Parmesan for the top!) Set filling aside while shell noodles boil to "al dente" as directed. While your noodles boil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to a sauce pan. Stir together as the butter melts. Then, stir in milk and warm through. Next, melt in cream cheese and Parmesan. (If your sauce is not think enough, you can stir a little sauce and flour together in a separate cup and add back to the sauce pan for thickening.) Once the sauce is smooth, stir in garlic powder, zest and lemon juice (if desired) and stir. Then, ladle a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Now that the noodles have cooled slightly, gentle spoon in the filling and place each shell in the pan so they are touching. Once the pan is full, ladle the remaining sauce over the noodles. Top with additional grated Parmesan and/or shredded Italian cheese and bake covered at 350 for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes until browned on top. Cool for 15 minutes and sprinkle with fresh basil. Voila!


  1. What a fun & different dinner! You are so right -- it's easy to get in a dinner rut. Thanks so much for sharing this dish on the Ingredient Spotlight this week.

  2. This looks so good! I wanted to let you know that I featured this today in my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post - stop by and see!

  3. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. : )