My daughter loves pasta but hates veggies. I can never ever get her to eat anything with veggies in it because she will spot them right away and start removing them. Over the years I’ve developed a ton of recipes that I can hide veggies into without her noticing.
This is a great recipe for sneaking spinach into your kids’ diet. I cut the spinach into big pieces because I made this batch for you guys but if your kids are picky you can chop the spinach into smaller pieces and they will melt right into the meat sauce and they won’t even notice it’s spinach!
This whole dish is simple and easy to put together and can also be prepared ahead of time and then popped in the oven or microwave as needed. If you don’t have the jumbo shells you can use any other type of pasta, follow the same directions for cooking to pasta al dente style and layer the pasta and meat sauce in a casserole dish.
Spinach and Ground Beef Stuffed Shells
- 6 ounces jumbo pasta shells about 12-14 shells
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt+pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a big pot boil 6 cups of water and cook shells al dente style (according to package), add salt and pepper to taste.
While the shells are boiling Heat a large pan or skillet. Add the ground beef (no oil needed) and brown for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped onions, garlic, basil, oregano, tomato paste and salt + pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 minutes then add the spinach and simmer for 2 more minutes.
After the shells are cooked (be careful not to overcook because they will start to break apart) and the meat sauce is ready put the mixture in the shells like a tablespoon and half into each one line them up in across a 13x19 casserole dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the top, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese and cook for 15 minutes at 400°F.