Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells*

Parsley is a bitch. Ya, I said it. I can’t grow it to save my life. Rosemary? Great. Chives? Awesome. Basil? Of course! Parsley? Heck no. I have tried growing it planted in the ground, in a pot, and on my windowsill. I have tried watering it, not watering it, and doing Indian rain dances. I have fertilized it with blood meal, miracle grow, and coffee grounds. It always dies. ALWAYS. And what’s worse is that almost all recipes for fresh parsley call for a tablespoon or two. Rarely do you find a recipe calling for a large amount…so what ends up happening is that large bunch of parsley you bought (because they don’t sell it any smaller quantities), starts to go bad.

In walks or is it rolls? Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells. It calls for 1 whole cup of chopped parsley! Wahoo! No more wasting a half of a bunch of parsley anymore! These shells were great and made a huge batch. Plenty to feed a large group or in my case to pop in the freezer for a later date when I don’t feel like cooking.

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Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1 onion, diced
1 (15 ounce) container Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
3 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

Cook shells and spinach according to package directions. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach. Meanwhile, brown ground turkey and onions in 2 tbsp. olive oil, over medium-high heat.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large baking dish. Spread 1 cup sauce on bottom of baking dish.

Cream together eggs and ricotta cheese. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, oregano, salt & pepper and mix well. Then gently fold in the spinach and turkey mixture. Fill shells with this mixture.

Add shells and cover with remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 30-35 minutes until warmed through and bubbly.

To freeze: Follow the same directions until it says cover with remaining sauce. Instead, do not cover with sauce. Wrap baking dish with saran wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When you are ready, allow baking dish to rest for 30 minutes before baking. Then remove saran wrap and foil and cover shells with spaghetti sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Recover with foil. Bake 40-45 minutes until warmed through and bubbly.

Adapted from: Food.com Originally seen on The Comfort Of Cooking

 

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31 Responses to “Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells”

  1. 1

    Eat Good 4 Life — March 1, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    I love parsley, along with basil. Last spring, I did plant them for the first time ever and had luck with both :-) I am really learning my way on the vegetable garden so I hope next year I have some luck :-). Great turkey recipe!!

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

      We definitely can’t be friends. I refuse to be friends with anyone who can grow parsley ;-) lol

  2. 2

    Nessie — March 1, 2011 @ 5:37 am

    You can easily freeze parsley. Wash it, remove hards stalks and cut it into small pieces. Put in a small container and if you need some, just break of the amount you need. it taste like fresh. Good luck.

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

      Thanks for the tip Nessie. I do freeze it usually…but I just like using it up fresh if I can! :-)

  3. 3

    Mandy - The Complete Cook Book — March 1, 2011 @ 5:40 am

    Bummer about the parsley growing – oh well.
    I love the idea of your dish – sadly though, we don’t get the jumbo pasta shells here in Mauritius – hopefully I will find them when we get back home to SA later this year. :-) Mandy

  4. 4

    Happy When Not Hungry — March 1, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    Yum!! Love the looks of your stuffed shells especially with the ground turkey. I was successful (knock on wood) growing parsley last year, but my problem child was cilantro. I bought 2 cilantro plants last year and both died painful, slow deaths!

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

      I have had luck with Cilantro…but it’s a seasonal plant! It hates heat! So I can only grow it a couple months out of the year here in Florida :-(

  5. 5

    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean — March 1, 2011 @ 6:46 am

    yum! these look so good. stuffed shells was one of my favorite dishes growing up. still is! love the blue dish too :)

  6. 6

    mom — March 1, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    When you come visit please bring these and when I get home from work we will add a salad and dig in!!! Love you!

  7. 7

    Ammie R — March 1, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    I have the a similar issue with cilantro, I can’t seem to grown more than a few stems.

  8. 8

    Wawa — March 1, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    I have the same problem growing parsley. The one time I did get it to grow it shot up and went to seed when I was out of town for the weekend.

    But…I have had really good luck getting the huge grocery store bunches to last in my fridge. I’ve got one in there now that is going on day 11, which has given me plenty of time to work it into other recipes 2 Tbsp at a time. I just stick them in a water glass with an inch of water (or…a vase I guess) and then put the plastic bag from the store loosely over the top and stuck it in the fridge. Stays fresh and non-wilted!

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      Oh thank you for posting this! I will definitely start storing my parsley that way! Great tip!

  9. 9

    sally — March 1, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    I’ve heard parsley can be tough to grow. I’ve always wanted to grow it though. Instead I buy big bunches from the store and usually end up tossing a lot of it. Nice to see that this recipe uses so much!

  10. 10

    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — March 1, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    To me, there is nothing more comforting that good Italian food! It’s just perfection :) These look fantastic and I wish I had them for lunch today!

  11. 11

    DeAnna — March 1, 2011 @ 11:27 am

    That’s funny because parsley is the only thing that will grow in my greenhouse. Everything else dies a horrible death but the parsley just keeps growing and growing.

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

      You need to share all your Parsley growing tips then! ;-)

      • DeAnna replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 7:36 am

        Plant it and then abuse it. lol

  12. 12

    Dionne @ Try Anything Once — March 1, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    We are huge stuffed shell fans here at my house. Yours look delicious! I’m sorry about your luck with parsley. I’ve never tried to grow it so I cannot yet sympathize. I have been freezing mine several leaves at a time in a ice cube tray so I can use it when I need it. I know parsley’s not all that expensive but I hate to waste, especially such a useful ingredient!

    I hope you are having a good week.

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

      Thanks Dionne! I also try freezing it…but it is just never the same as fresh!

  13. 13

    Joanne — March 1, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    I’ve never tried to grow parsley because I have no space in which to do so, but I am constantly annoyed when recipes call for such meager amounts of it. Sometimes I start to do crazy things and just add more. Next time…I’m just going to make this recipe. I mean, with all of that ricotta cheese…these shells are dreamy no matter what!

  14. 14

    Becky — March 1, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Ugh, I totally hate the excess parsley problem too! This recipe seems like a perfect remedy : )

  15. 15

    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) — March 1, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Um, confession time.
    My mom owned a flower shop while I was growing up. You don’t even want to know how many planters I killed while working there.
    I DO NOT have a green thumb either.

    I love these stuffed shells!

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

      Ha! That makes me feel so much better! ;-) lol

  16. 16

    Kocinera — March 1, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    I’m with you on this. It’s so frustrating when a recipe calls for a pinch of fresh herbs and your lovely bunch of parsley (or cilantro, thyme, rosemary, etc.) just sits and wilts away in the fridge. I love how much of that yummy green stuff is in these shells! Plus the fact that you can freeze them for later makes it even better.

  17. 17

    Eliana — March 1, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    Yum- to the -O. This is one kick-ass recipe. Now I don’t have to throw out have used bunches of parsley. Thanks!

  18. 18

    DessertForTwo — March 2, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    Ok, a million people are going to give you gardening advice here. But you should only listen to me <—Master's degree in agriculture. Here's my advice: give up. I can grow anything under the sun…except parsley. I've planted it in all seasons, all months, in all places and no such luck. I even started it in a greenhouse first. It sprouted, I got excited, I transplanted it, it died. :(

    I think I'll drown my sorrows in a fat bowl of pasta. Yes! :)

    • Jessica replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

      HA! This made me laugh out loud!

      I will take your advice and give up! Because if someone with a degree can’t do it, I know I can’t do it either!

  19. 19

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  20. 20

    Kim — March 2, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    I love shells. LOVE THEM! I will have to try this recipe out!

  21. 21

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 3, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    This recipe sounds really tasty but I am loving your photos. You make stuffed shells look prettier than any others I have seen!

  22. 22

    Lyn - — August 25, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

    This stuffed shells looks so good. Use large bunch of leftover parsley to make a Tabbuli salad. This is the most wonderful, refreshing salad. With the bulghur wheat, mint (big bunch), tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers and parsley, dresed with oil and lemon juice , I eat it as a main dish. I grow my own mint in pots and make this salad all summer long. Try it the next time you have a big bunch of parsley.

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