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.
Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes (cook and bake time)
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
Can use pre-made or here’s my recipe for simple sauce
Topping: Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- 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.
- Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add lentils and finely chopped mushrooms to meat mixture until softened, about 4-6 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat; stir in parmesan cheese and parsley.
- 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).
- Drain pasta shells and run under cool water.
- Spread 125mL of sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
- Fill 2 Tbsp of meat filling into each shell and place into the baking sheet.
- Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is heated thoroughly.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.