Cheesy Pesto Stuffed Shells


I love stuffed shells because a) they're full of cheese! b) they are easy to make ahead. When I know I'm going to be busy I can make them in the morning or even the day before and stick them in the fridge until an hour before dinner. All I need to do is pop them in the oven and dinner is ready! I usually make them with red sauce, but I had a jar of pesto I needed to use and the flavor was great! This version is vegetarian, but they would also be scrumptious with diced chicken or even salmon mixed into the cheese filling!

Cheesy Pesto Stuffed Shells
Serves 6-8

1 box large pasta shells
2 pounds riccotta cheese
1 jar pesto (I like the ones from Costco or Trader Joe's)
1 egg
3 cups shredded mozzerrella cheese

1. boil the pasta shells as directed on the box, drain and set aside

2. mix 1 1/2 cups of pesto with the riccotta cheese and egg, stir until well mixed

3. grease a 9x13 glass baking dish and spread 1/2 cup pesto sauce in the bottom
4. fill each cooked pasta shell with about 2 tablespoons of the riccotta cheese mixture and place side by side in the baking dish
5. pour the remaining pesto sauce over the top of the shells, using the back of a spoon to ensure that each shell gets covered
6. sprinkle the shredded mozzerella evenly over the whole top and cover with foil
7. bake at 375 for about 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if refrigerated), remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or broil until top is melted, bubbly, and slightly browned!

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