“Healthified” Stuffed Shells

These things are to die for.  Plus, instead of only being stuffed with cheese they also have carrots, spinach, and meat, so I feel like they’re a little bit healthier and they are very filling.  Plus they taste so unbelievably good.  I insist that you make them!  (I already had one reader take me up on this–and she did not regret it!:).  Recipe from eatbetteramerica.com.

“Healthified” Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 30 min
Start to Finish: 1 hr 20 min
Makes: 12 servings (2 shells each)

Ingredients
24 jumbo pasta shells (from 12-oz box)
1 lb lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 container (15 oz) light ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots
1 jar (25.5 oz) pasta sauce

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F.  Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, crumble sausage.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain.

In medium bowl, stir ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the spinach and basil until well mixed.  Stir in carrots and sausage.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over bottom of baking dish.  Spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls sausage mixture into each pasta shell.  Arrange shells, filled sides up, on sauce in baking dish. P our remaining pasta sauce over stuffed shells.  Spray 15-inch piece of foil with cooking spray; cover shells with foil.

Bake 40 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend.  Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

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