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  • Writer's pictureJazzmyne Buckels

Bussin' Bussin' Stuffed Shells


I am sure you read that title and were like, what is that! Well as usual there is a story behind every recipe I create. The short of it is, this recipe was named by teenagers. The long of it goes a little like this...


There are sometimes that I come up with recipes out of necessity, i.e. I have thirty minutes to cook a dinner and haven't been to the store in a month so I have to make gourmet out of virtually nothing. Other times, I do it because I just love to cook, and I especially like to cook for my family. Fortunately for me, I am a really good cook and they don't being experimented on, lol! This recipe comes from the latter. My sister-in-love and my nephew were up for our bi-annual cousin week and I was looking to make something new but one the kids would still love. I have to say when first explained what I wanted to put in it - mushrooms, spinach, garlic cream - my nephew was convinced there was no way he would eat it. Lucky for him, his auntie has few tricks up her sleeve and not only did he eat it, he ate like 10 shells! Gotta love teenage boys! Anywho, here's my recipe, named by my kids, niece and nephew for Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Shells aka Bussin' Bussin' Stuffed Shells.

 

These stuffed shells are filled with creamy and cheesy spinach and mushroom goodness that rival your favorite Alfredo Florentine recipe. It takes a little bit of extra time but I promise it's worth every minute. It's then topped with my classic Garlic cream sauce that I would literally but the cup full on it's own, it so good.


Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of shredded chicken

  • 4 cups of heavy cream

  • 1 ½ grated Parmesan

  • ½ grated nutmeg

  • 4 ½ tablespoons of garlic

  • 1/3 cup of white wine

  • 3 tablespoons of garlic pepper

  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of kosher salt

  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella

  • 1 cup of mixed Italian cheese, shredded (Asiago, Romano, Parmesan)

  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella, torn in pieces

  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms

  • 4 cups of chopped spinach

  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 tablespoon of sour cream

  • 1 32 oz box Jumbo shells

Step 1: Prep It

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta shells for 10 minutes. Drain and the pasta then drizzle with a extra virgin olive oil so they don't stick together.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat sauté 1 tablespoon of garlic over medium heat for 1 minute.

  4. Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for f3-5 minutes until mushrooms soften. Add kosher salt and pepper. Cook for one minute more.

  5. Add chopped spinach to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach is cooked through and wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

  6. In a large bowl, shred chicken using two forks and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Filling & Cream Sauce

  1. In medium sauce pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the white wine and let cook for 3 minutes more.

  3. Add heavy cream to pan and reduce heat to low. Let cream simmer until the sauce thickens and is reduced. Stir in grated parmesan and nutmeg, cook for 1 minute more then remove from heat and set aside.

  4. To the large bowl containing the shredded chicken, add the spinach and mushroom mixture, soup, sour cream and most of the shredded cheeses (reserve about half cup to top the shells). Fold all ingredients together until fully combined.



Step 3: Assemble the shells

  1. Spray a large and deep (at least 2-3 inches) pan with non-stick spray. Depending on how many shells you make you may need 2 pans (I used 2 13x9 Pyrex dishes). Pour half of the cream sauce into the bottom of the pan (if you are using 2 pans, split this across the 2 pans and reserve half the sauce for pouring over the shells)

  2. Using your thumb, open a jumbo shell and spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Place the shell filling side up into the glass dish. Repeat this step until all of the shells have been filled.

  3. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells being sure to get a little sauce into each shell.


4. Top the shells with remaining shredded cheese and the fresh torn mozzarella.


5. Bake for 20-30 mins or until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Serve immediately and enjoy!



 

Final Thoughts



I love cooking for my family, especially when we don't see each other often. For this recipe I even had one of my favorite sous chefs helping me out (if not for her this recipe probably wouldn't have even made it to paper). I honestly believe that food should be the 6th love language - it absolutely is mine! Cooking for people and watching them enjoy what I have created is the ultimate expression of love for me.




Tips:

  • This is a great make ahead recipe if you are normally short on time. It also is great for leftovers if you can convince you family not to eat it all in one sitting.

  • Alternate serving suggestion - If you are not a fan of stuff shells or simply don't have the time, a great substitute is to pour the filling, sauce in with cooked bow tie or penne pasta, top with cheese and bake it in the oven. My sister-in-law did this and reported back that it totally works!

  • If you would rather go vegetarian, this dish is also hardy enough to service without the chicken.

Happy cooking and follow me here and on IG @gourmetmommie for more recipe videos, ideas and inspiration!

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