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Minestrone-Stuffed Shells

(3)
  1 reviews
  • 35 min prep time
  • 35 min total time
  • 10 ingredients
  • 16 servings
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Colorful bell peppers, beans and cheese stuff jumbo pasta shells in this beautiful presentation.

Ingredients

48
uncooked jumbo pasta shells (from two 12-oz. pkg.)
2
lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
2
cups chopped any color bell peppers (4 medium)
1
cup chopped onions (2 medium)
1
teaspoon salt
3/4
cup refrigerated basil pesto (from 7-oz. container)
8
oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
2
(15-oz.) cans dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2
(26-oz.) jars thick and hearty tomato pasta sauce
4
oz. (1 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Steps

  • 1 Cook pasta shells as directed on package. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven, break up ground beef. Add bell peppers and onions; sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in pesto, mozzarella cheese and beans.
  • 3 Fill each cooked pasta shell with scant 1/4 cup beef mixture. Place 12 filled shells in each of 4 large (9 1/2-cup) rectangular freezer/microwave-safe containers. Spoon 1/2 jar (about 1 1/2 cups) of the pasta sauce over each to cover. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover; refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.
  • 4 Thaw 1 container of stuffed shells in refrigerator for 24 hours, or uncover and thaw in microwave on Defrost for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 5 To reheat refrigerated or thawed stuffed shells, cover loosely and microwave on High for 6 to 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • 1 Cook pasta shells as directed on package. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven, break up ground beef. Add bell peppers and onions; sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in pesto, mozzarella cheese and beans.
  • 3 Fill each cooked pasta shell with scant 1/4 cup beef mixture. Place 12 filled shells in each of 4 large (9 1/2-cup) rectangular freezer/microwave-safe containers. Spoon 1/2 jar (about 1 1/2 cups) of the pasta sauce over each to cover. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover; refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.
  • 4 Thaw 1 container of stuffed shells in refrigerator for 24 hours, or uncover and thaw in microwave on Defrost for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 5 To reheat refrigerated or thawed stuffed shells, cover loosely and microwave on High for 6 to 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Expert Tips

If one family member likes the beans and the other doesn’t, just use 1 can in half of the mixture and leave the other half without.

Freeze the finished dish in a microwave-safe glass or plastic container. Then you’ll be able to quickly thaw and heat directly in the microwave. Inexpensive microwave-safe plastic containers are available in most discount and grocery stores. The large rectangles that hold 9 1/2 cups are perfect for this recipe.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
485
Calories from Fat
190
% Daily Value
Total Fat
21g
32%
Saturated Fat
7g
35%
Cholesterol
50mg
17%
Sodium
1150mg
48%
Total Carbohydrate
52g
17%
Dietary Fiber
6g
24%
Sugars
9g
9%
Protein
28g
28%
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
18%
18%
Vitamin C
26%
26%
Calcium
28%
28%
Iron
26%
26%
Exchanges:
2 1/2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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