These jumbo stuffed shells are filled with spinach & pesto, three types of cheese & Italian sausage, then covered in marinara sauce and more cheese before being baked to an ooey-gooey, golden brown perfection. A comfort food like no other and absolutely great for feeding a crowd!!
Christmas and the New Year festivities have come and gone, and I don't know about you all, but I have felt soo very busy!! I wouldn't even know where to begin to describe the amount of food that's been prepared and consumed in this kitchen over the last couple of weeks. One of my sisters and her family drove down to spend the weekend with us in Mississippi so the kids could shoot fireworks, play games and drink "special drink" (Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice) until the New Year. We had a blast a made lots of sweet memories I know I'll keep for many New Years' days to come.
At some point, however, the holidays wind down, and the spreads and Spreads and SPREADS of food and leftovers begin to dwindle and "normal life" picks up again. If you're like me, you need to ease into normalcy again because you're still in recovery mode from all the work hours you've put in inside the kitchen. If that sounds familiar, YOU are who I had in mind when I came up with this one pan and very little mess recipe!
Years ago, I had a dear friend who lived within walking distance from my house, and I LOVED going over to visit for supper, a Bible study and games. She lives in Texas now, so while I can't walk over to her house to hang out like the old days, I can still reminisce by making some of her recipes. These Spinach, Sausage & Pesto Cheese Stuffed Shells were made with her in mind!
The first time I ever tried stuffed shells was at her house, and they quickly became the meal she made when we'd visit. Yes, she made lots of other things, too, but Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Shells with Vodka Cream Sauce became the favorite.
Using my friend's recipe as inspiration, I added some basil pesto sauce and a little sautéed spinach & garlic together to the cheese mixture along with some fresh herbs. I swapped the vodka sauce for marinara for no other reason except in the name of trying something different, and the finished result was absolutely delicious!!
If you need a little extra time, you can prepare these stuffed shells in advance, keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of days and bake just before serving. Makes this process easy peasy and even more incredible for a simple, one-pan meal.