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For an easy, cheesy dish that you can make ahead, and even sneak in a few extra veggies, you’ll love this family-friendly dinner from contributor Tammi of Momma’s Meals. I’m dying to try her Ham and Spinach Stuffed Shells.
Ham and Spinach Stuffed Shells
I’m sharing this Ham & Spinach Stuffed Shells with you all today because not only did my picky almost five year old eat it, but I was able to prepare this dish super fast and it turned out delicious!
Rewind a day: Our family wakes up on the one day off my husband happened to have off that week. I’m beat from a crazy week of keeping the kids busy for the last few weeks of Summer, my husband was beyond beat from working and doing the usual stuff he does to help me out, the kids were cranky from a few days of no naps and a pool party from the previous day. Yes we just wanted to stay home, yes I had this very dish in mind to make for a nice dinner later that night, yes the kids woke up begging to go somewhere and do something. AHHHH! My husband looked at me, I then said “we have to!” It’s a number ten day and their aren’t many left. Soon enough we will be living inside with feet upon feet of snow around us so lets go! My wonderful dish I wanted to make for a nice family dinner slowly left my mind while we ran around packing bags, changing into our swim suits and stocking the car with sand toys and coolers! Then I stopped. There was no reason why I couldn’t make this dish, pop it in the refrigerator and throw it on the grill when we returned.
It was the best decision I made. My husband continued to pack the kids and the car and I went to work in the kitchen. It was a real tasty sauce for only 20 minutes of cooking! I stuffed those shells like a champ, popped it in the fridge and we were off. Never underestimate a dinner you may have in mind. We were able to stay an hour later at the beach we went to knowing dinner just needed to be heated on the grill. The kids slept the whole ride home and we were able to enjoy that nice family dinner together when we returned just like I imagined when I woke that morning.
You can make these Ham & Spinach Stuffed Shells vegetarian by simply omitting the ham, I was being sneaky and wanted to see if I could get my kiddo’s to eat it. Something about spinach and ricotta that makes me do my happy dance! If you don’t have a top rack on your grill you can simply place a patio block or brick inside your grill and put this pan on top, it’s just like creating an oven!
Ham and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 8 oz spinach chopped
- 3/4 cup diced ham
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
To prepare the sauce:
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and and cook. stirring for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Set aside.
To prepare the shells:
- Cook shells in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Don't cook all the way. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, ham, garlic, spinach, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper together and set aside.
- Reserve half of the sauce and pour the rest into a 13x9 baking dish.
- Stuff each shell with a heaping tbsp. of the cheese mixture and line them up side by side in the pan.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick spray, cover and cook on the upper rack of the grill for 20 minutes.
If you like this, you’ll love these from Tammi…
And here are some of my favorite pasta dishes…
- World’s Best Lasagna
- Lightened-Up Penne and Tomato Cream Sauce with Peas and Prosciutto
- Italian Noodle Casserole