Shrimp & Chicken Sausage Pasta Shells

With Christmas right around the corner, pasta meals are an easy quick fix on those busy days leading up to the big day. Stuffed Shells are truly the perfect meal to make ahead of time since you can prepare everything but hold off on baking them until you’re ready to eat.

Stuffed shells are a tasty dish that is usually made with ricotta cheese or other types of cheese inside the pasta shells. Tomato sauce is another common ingredient in the dish. However, there are so many ways to jazz it up and one might be surprised just how many unique ingredients one can put into a shell.

I have always loved stuffed pasta shells and over the years I have stuffed them in every way I could imagine. There are endless variations such as using different cheeses and herbs or making some homemade marinara or sun-dried tomato sauce.

There’s a reason surf and turf is often one of the most desired items on a restaurant menu — it’s because meat and fish are the perfect complement to each other! The light flavor of fish and shellfish is a great addition to the richer, heartier flavor of meat.

Today, I’m combining some shrimp and chicken sausage in my filling and topping it with a nice smoky sun-dried tomato parmesan sauce. Should be good!

Print Recipe
Shrimp & Chicken Sausage Pasta Shells
Pasta / Filling
  1. Cook pasta shells in a pot of salted boiling water for about 10-12 minutes. Drain well & lay on a wire rack to keep them from sticking together until ready to fill.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion & mushrooms; sauté until tender & moisture has evaporated from mushrooms. Add chicken sausage & minced garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine & cook until sausage is no longer pink about 4-5 minutes more. Drain well & transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Peel & devein shrimp; chop into 1/2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together broth & flour. Set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp begins to turn pink. Stir in flour mixture. Add cream, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder & Italian seasoning; stir until thickened. Remove from heat & stir in sausage mixture. Set aside until ready to use.
Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onion & cook for 2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, paprika & sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add vegetable broth; bring to a boil & simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in cream & parmesan cheese into the sauce. Remove from heat & cool for a few minutes. Pour sauce into food processor & process to a fairly smooth consistency. It will not be completely smooth but that is fine.
Assembly / Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread half of the sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Divide filling between cooked shells. Lay in rows over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top carefully covering all the shells.
  3. Loosely lay a piece of foil paper over baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling nicely.

Veg-Bacon Zucchini Lasagna

Another zucchini recipe? Sure, why not. It’s such a versatile vegetable and it doesn’t hurt to add more veggies to our daily menu!

By replacing the lasagna noodles with zucchini slices, the tasty result has all the wonderful flavors we love about the Italian dish – it’s even very similar in its texture!

This lasagna is perfect in the summer with your garden-fresh veggies and herbs, or in the winter when you need a comforting meal. This updated version features zucchini slices with layers of cheese, bacon, leeks, mushrooms, swiss chard and a flavorful sun-dried tomato sauce.

 Lasagna in any form must be up there on our list of comfort food favorites. What’s not to love about lasagna? They’re saucy, cheesy, and perfect to fill with our favorite ingredients. The possibilities are endless when we can really start to think outside the basic fillings.

The replacement of traditional pasta with zucchini adds great texture to the dish, plus a beautiful presentation. The longer you cook the lasagna, the softer the zucchini noodles will become.

Print Recipe
Bacon Zucchini Lasagna
Bacon & Veggies
  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté bacon until slightly crisp. Remove & blot on paper towel. Add leeks & mushrooms to the pan; sauté 4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in saucepan; add zucchini slices. Sauté 4 minutes or until tender & just beginning to brown. Remove from pan to a plate. Heat remaining 1 tsp of oil & add the Swiss chard; sauté 4 minutes or until wilted. Combine bacon & Swiss chard with vegetable mixture in bowl.
  1. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onion & cook 2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add garlic, oregano, thyme, paprika & sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring with a spatula. Add veg broth & allow to bubble for 2 minutes then add salt & pepper (if using). Bring to a boil then reduce heat & simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream & parmesan cheese.
  1. Grate mozzarella & parmesan cheeses. In a bowl, combine cottage cheese & 150 gm (1 1/2 cups) mozzarella; stir well.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with veg oil.
  2. Spread a small amount of the sauce mixture in the bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange 1/3 of zucchini slices over the sauce; top with half of the cottage cheese mixture, then half of the veg/bacon mixture & about a cup of sauce. Repeat layers, ending with zucchini slices. Spread the remaining sauce mixture on top of the zucchini slices; sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
  3. Cover & bake for 20 minutes. Uncover & bake an additional 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & beginning to brown, Allow to sit about 10 minutes before serving.