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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Shells

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One of the things Hubby and I absolutely love is, pasta stuffed with cheese. It is one of our weaknesses and what saddens us is that the kids really don't care for it. After eating cheese ravenously, for a year, Queenie now detests cheese; in any way shape or form. She takes the cheese off pizza, refuses to eat any sandwich that contains cheese (well she does eat the occasional grilled cheese; with much prodding). So, when the kids were gone during the summer, I took the opportunity to make Hubby and I a wonderful dinner, that included some of our favorite foods. We started with Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Portobellos, followed by these yummy stuffed shells and Rosemary Artisan Bread. We finished off the meal with a new favourite; Lemon Chess Pie. It was a very outstanding meal, that we both extremely enjoyed (especially since there was no whining from the kids, about not liking what was for dinner, LOL).

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I love the combination of cheese with green vegetables. Their bitterness is softened by the salty creamy smoothness. These were super yummy. The savory cheese was studded with tender broccoli and topped with a smooth as silk cream sauce. These would be great for vegetarian guest and family members; but still delicious enough that meat eaters would enjoy them too.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Shells
printable version

15 large shells
1-8 oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 C finely chopped broccoli
1 C shredded mozzarella
3/4 C Parmesan, divided

Sauce:
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs flour
1 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C milk
1 C Italian Style shredded cheese
salt & pepper

Boil shells in salted boiling water, until just al dente.
While shells are cooking, mix together ricotta, egg, garlic and onion powders, oregano, basil, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir in broccoli and mix well.
In a saucepan heat olive oil and add flour; mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock, whisking to ensure no lumps. Add in milk and bring up to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Take off heat and stir in Italian Cheese blend.
Spread 1/2 the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stuff shells evenly with broccoli cheese mixture. Place stuffed shells in baking dish and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 C Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes longer. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.


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This post linked to

Made it on Monday
These Chicks Cooked
Turning the Tables Thursday
Full Plate Thursday

9 comments:

MM said...

Oh yum! And no whining does make food taste better!

Broccoli & cheese on its own is one of my childhood favs. In soup, on a baked potato...all good. Never thought to stuff inside of pasta, but I'm in love with this idea.

The Boy spent a week w/ my mom and dad this summer. I cooked lots and lots of mushrooms. LOL!

Brenda said...

We're huge fans of stuffed shells too. Those other ones you posted a while back (that I made) are still my favourite ever. Having said that, these look delicious and adding broccoli to the filling is brilliant. Healthy and delicious!

4*KowBoys said...

I would love to have these! Only my one son hates cheese, and my husband would prefer some meat. I supposed I could add chicken. This is my kind of meal. I wish my family liked what I do! lol You can just invite me over next time you make them!

Meg's Everyday Indulgence said...

My husband, son and I love cheese. It would be so sad to have a non-cheese eater in the house! These sound so amazing, thank you for sharing!

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

I love serving stuffed shells, too. Occasionally, I will add in dried kale or other greens to boost the veggie content. Generally, my kids don't have an issue with that. I think I'll try the broccoli next time, and see what happens. I bet if I puree the broccoli, they might have less of an issue.

My kids have gone through no cheese phases, too! For the longest time, my oldest took the cheese off his pizza and ate it separately. He still isn't fond of melted cheese, though he eats the whole pizza together now.

Sarah E. said...

Those look really really good!

Miz Helen said...

Your shells look so good. I just love the addition of the Broccoli to the stuffing. I can't wait to try them. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come back soon!
Miz Helen

Deborah said...

I love stuffed shells, and this version sounds amazing!!

Corey @ Family Fresh Meals said...

Another great veggie pasta that I am going to have to try! Amazing! Printing this one out now!