This school year I’m all about meal planning and family meals. Taking a look back at our finances we spent entirely too much money eating out and on the run. When your kids have after-school activities, sports, and whatever else life throws at you eating out just happens. Not anymore! Probably one of the most stressful things for me besides driving, is getting dinner on the table and eating together as a family when all these activities occur. Sometimes you just can’t help eating on the run, but I’m trying to simplify life this year. I’m going to be doing a ton of freezer cooking, meal planning and using my slow cooker to death! This weeks new meal was Stuffed Shells with Spinach in my slow cooker!
The best part of this recipe is that you put the shells in raw! There is no pre-cooking of any of the ingredients required! This is a such a big time saver and if you have ever made stuffed shells it’s kind of pain in the ass to stuff cooked pasta. Stuffing raw pasta is so much easier, and faster. The con of this dish is that it’s hard to make it look pretty when you scoop it out of the slow cooker. It can be done, but very carefully!
Here is a pic of one of the plates that I served the boys the other night! The pasta cooked perfectly for me. We loved how it turned out. Let me know if you give it a try!
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry ( or omit to make plain!)
- 1 container (12 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (1 cup is used on top the completes dish)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (in a pinch use garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 28 jumbo pasta shells (raw)
- 2 jars (24 ounces each) tomato sauce (Or you can use homemade like I did!)
- Chopped parsley ( Use fresh or omit!)
- In a large bowl, stir spinach, ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, garlic and Italian seasoning.( I didn't have any Italian seasoning so I used Greek and it was awesome!)
- Fill each raw pasta shell with ricotta mixture.
- Add 3 cups sauce to the bottom of the crock. (This is how the pasta cooks!)
- Place ½ of the stuffed shells in the bottom of the crock. Cover with 2 cups tomato sauce.
- Layer with remaining stuffed shells and sauce.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 until shells are cooked. Once cooked remove lid and add 1 cup mozzarella cheese over shells. Wait until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh parsley with you like!
Don’t forget to Pin this to your board and let me know if you give it a try! I’m starting a brand new board called Mom’s Tried & True Recipes. These are going to be all recipes that I actually use in my every day life! So follow me on Pinterest! Happy Pinning!
Have you cooked pasta in a slow cooker? How did it work for you?