1/27/14

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Garlic Cream Sauce

A rustic, simple recipe for stuffed pasta shells with Italian sausage, spinach and mozzarella topped with an easy garlic cream sauce.

I love sausage. Like, to the point that most people love bacon. I really only cook bacon to get the drippings for cooking with. I would rather have sausage any day of the week.

And I really love Italian sausage. I often use Italian sausage instead of ground beef when making weeknight spaghetti.

PRO TIP: easily make mini meatballs using Italian Sausage links by removing the casings then pinching off one-inch pieces of sausage then rolling them into little meatballs.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Garlic Cream Sauce | A rustic, simple recipe for stuffed pasta shells with Italian sausage, spinach and mozzarella topped with an easy garlic cream sauce.

I make a more traditional recipe for Classic Stuffed Shells using tomato sauce (that is GREAT for serving guests and even freezing) but I wanted to change things up.

So I had the idea to make these stuffed shells using mostly just Italian sausage and spinach. And while I'd usually serve stuffed shells with marinara or some other red sauce I decided to go with an alfredo-type sauce with this recipe because sausage and spinach just go with cream sauce!

This Garlic Cream Sauce is super simple to make (it's a verrrrry close cousin to alfredo) but you could totally skip it and just use a prepared jar or tub of alfredo sauce from the grocery store.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Garlic Cream Sauce | A rustic, simple recipe for stuffed pasta shells with Italian sausage, spinach and mozzarella topped with an easy garlic cream sauce.

Trust me, I know all about going the quick and easy route when you're trying to get supper on the table quickly! But this sauce is super simple and easy and packs an amazing punch of fresh, homemade flavor. And, it’s really frickin easy.

Now, all that being said, you could totally skip the creamy sauce and just use marinara sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce too. Just use whichever you prefer!

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Garlic Cream Sauce | A rustic, simple recipe for stuffed pasta shells with Italian sausage, spinach and mozzarella topped with an easy garlic cream sauce.
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20 comments:

  1. I had all the ingredients for this except the jumbo shells, so I made it using rigatoni. I just stirred all the ingredients together, popped them into a 13x9 baking dish, topped it with more cheese and baked til browned on top. It was SO good. I'll definitely be making it again, maybe even with the big shells. LOL

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    1. I'm so glad you told me! I'd wondered about doing the same thing! I think I'll try it and call it Sausage & Spinach Pasta a la Karen!

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  2. Great recipe! I am so glad I found your page! Trying this tomorrow. Thank you! Chef Taling www.facebook.com/soulgoodfood

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  3. I made this a few weeks ago and my boyfriend loved it (even with the spinach in it) but today I am making it and I added chicken with the sausage and made extra sauce. I like browning the cheese on top also,

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  4. Any ideas what to sub for the cream? I can find soy mozzarella cheese and parmesan but the cream?

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  5. How many does this recipe serve?

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  6. I didnt have shells but stuffed it in Manicotti noodles and baked, it was heaven. Great little trick is fill a ziptop bag with sausage spinach mixture, cut off one end, makes filling noodles so simple

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  7. Is there any reason not to mince the garlic?

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  8. I don't have spinach but I might try subbing in broccoli instead. Going to try it for dinner tonight!

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  9. Can you make the day before serving? If not can you make the filling the day before?

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  10. If you wanted to make this a freezer meal (like to give to a friend) would you just freeze before putting it in the oven to bake? Any idea on re-heating instructions?

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    1. The shells freeze beautifully - I freeze them all the time! I freeze mine on a cookie sheet then pop them in a gallon-size freezer bag. I'm not sure how the cream sauce would do in the freezer though. If I were going to, I'd probably freeze the shells and mozzarella together then just give it away with a jar of alfredo sauce (or marinara).

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  11. can you use raw spinach instead of frozen?

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  12. I used raw spinach and Lucama rigata pasta. Turned out AMAZING! This is going into my regular rotation. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    1. I like the idea of fresh spinach also.i think I'll wilt it a little first. Stay turned for results. 😁

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  13. I made this with lasagna noodles rolling the filling into it than pouring sauce over top and baking for Christmas Eve dinner. Tonight I am making just the sauce for over ravioli with the sausage and spinach mixed in sauce. The garlic is roasted mashed to a fine paste to be left in cream sauce. I can't wait to try it.

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy