If there is one thing that has come out of my mouth year after year in January it would be that I tell myself I’m going to work on eating better in the new year. And I did it again this year and I’m trying hard to stick to it because I have a trip to Barbados coming up in 5 weeks. I’ve been adding in vegetables anywhere that I can and I’ve been swapping out lean proteins as much as possible. Italian foods are one of the hardest things to for me to pass up so I’ve been looking for ways to make pasta healthier. With a few little swaps I crafted these Turkey Artichoke Stuffed Shells, ready in under one hour!
One of my favorite ways to save on the fat and calories in a dish is by using turkey for my protein.Jennie-O makes turkey products in all shapes and sizes and I used their Extra Lean Ground Turkey as the base for my stuffed shells. I love that this product is all natural and 99% fat free. Adding the ground turkey to a mixture of cheese, herbs and artichokes creates a flavorful dinner for your family.
This meal comes together in less than one hour and you can save on time by cooking the turkey the night before. I opted for a low-sugar, arrabbiata sauce to add a boost of flavor the the finished meal. Y0u’ll want to be sure to cool the meat before mixing it with the cheese so that you don’t end up with a melty mess!
How are you sticking to your healthy eating resolutions this year?
- 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus ½ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus ¼ teaspoon
- 1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 5 cups tomato pasta sauce
- 1½ cups grated mozzarella
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of pasta sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining pasta sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes
This post is sponsored by Jennie-O. All opinions expressed are my own.