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Lentil & Mushroom Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage (Dietetic Directions)
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Lentil & Mushroom-Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

Stuffed Shells with Lentils

Lentil & Mushroom-Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

Want an easy way to save on your grocery bill?  Look no further than adding lentils to extend your meat dishes or as a meatless alternative. This Lentil & Mushroom-Stuffed Shells recipe is a variation of my Chorizo Stuffed Jumbo Shells but instead with the addition of lentils and a lot of finely chopped mushrooms. Leftovers are also easy and delicious with this meal!

In case you are unfamiliar, lentils are little edible seeds grown in a pod and part of the legume family. They are incredibly versatile and take on the flavour of the dish. In just ½ cup serving, there are 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of fibre! Lentils also contain the heart-healthy mineral potassium which helps in lowering blood pressure and they are an excellent source of iron. You can purchase lentils dried or canned. A can of lentils (19 oz) costs around $0.88-1.50 for approximately four servings.

In this recipe, I still use meat and add approximately 50% lentils to the meat mixture. This allows you to extend the dish (to have more servings) and it also boost the nutrition by adding fibre and heart-healthy minerals.

 

Serves: 6-8

Prep time:  30-40 minutes

Cook time: 20-30 minutes (cook and bake time)

 

Ingredients:

Meat & Lentil Filling:

3 Italian-style sausages, casing removed

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ small red onion, chopped

2 cups lentils, canned, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups of mushrooms, very finely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Optional: Add red wine while sautéing the meat and onions, garlic.

 

1 package jumbo shells

 

Tomato Sauce

Can use pre-made or here’s my recipe for simple sauce

 

Topping: Mozzarella cheese, shredded

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casing from sausage before adding filling to skillet.  Use a spoon/flipper to break the up sausage into small pieces.  Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add lentils and finely chopped mushrooms to meat mixture until softened, about 4-6 minutes.
  5. Remove mixture from heat; stir in parmesan cheese and parsley.
  6. Cook jumbo shells for about 8 minutes until al dente (still a little firm when you bite) but malleable to spoon in the filling (Caution: Avoid over-cooking shells because they will cook further in oven).
  7. Drain pasta shells and run under cool water.
  8. Spread 125mL of sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
  9. Fill 2 Tbsp of meat filling into each shell and place into the baking sheet.
  10. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is heated thoroughly.
  12. Garnish with fresh parsley.