Recipe: Artichoke, Spinach and Feta Stuffed Shells

This recipe for stuffed shells, which is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, is much healthier than the traditional Italian version, but still has great flavor. I prepped this meal on Sunday night when I had some time on my hands, and then put it in the oven for about 25 minutes when we got home from work on Monday, which made for a stress-free, post-work dinner. Instead of ricotta, these shells are filled with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream cheese and feta, and the sauce is simple yet delicious, with a spiciness that comes from pepperoncinis. One thing to note is that the texture of the shell filling is pretty different than the Italian, ricotta-filled version, which surprised my husband.

Check out the full recipe and photos below!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (you can substitute this for provolone if you prefer)
  • 1 cup (4 oz) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 9 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
  • 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 (or so) cooked jumbo shell pasta (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375° (skip this step if you are prepping this for another day)
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan; place over medium heat, cook 12 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally; remove from heat and set aside
  • Combine 1/2 cup mozzarella and the next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl
  • Spoon or pipe about 1 1/2 tablespoons into each pasta shell (tip: use a large ziplock bag and cut a corner in the side for easy piping)
  • Place stuffed shells in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
  • Spoon tomato mixture over shells; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup provolone
  • Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese melts.

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 The sauce is so easy to make!

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Combine ingredients together for the shell filling.

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Cut the corner of a Ziploc bag to help pipe the filling into the shells.

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Here are the shells all filled. Not the prettiest, but pretty good for my first time!

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 Pour the sauce over the shells and add mozzarella to the top.

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Take it out of the oven and enjoy! Note that the cheese on top doesn’t appear fully melted because I chose to use reduced-fat shredded mozzarella. It’s one of the downfalls to using regular cheese.

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