Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef, Spinach, and Mushrooms

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce – all for only 223 calories per serving!

Have you ever experience a toddler meltdown before?

You know the kind where something small happens but to them it is the end of the world. A full on cry fest in which they throw themselves on the floor, kicking, crying, and screaming.

I’m sure you’ve never experienced this, its probably only my child.

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

The other day Cason was playing with his legos. He was trying to build this big tower so he could put his lego guys on it. Only problem was there was this one piece that just wouldn’t stay. No matter how many times he tried to get it to stick it wouldn’t stay. I could tell he was starting to get frustrated, just not understanding why the one piece wouldn’t stay where he wanted it. He tried one more time and it fell again.

He threw the lego down and just started crying, “its not staying mommy, its not staying.”

Whenever he has a meltdown like that I will always go over to him, get down to his level and ask him to look me in the eyes. I will gently hold onto his cheeks or face and tell him.

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

“Cason, you know mommy loves you, right?”

He will answer “yes mommy”

“And that I will do anything for you. I will always help you. Right?”

He will answer “yes, mommy.”

“Ok, well I need you to calm down. Take a deep breathe and calm down. And we will sit and figure this out together, ok buddy.”

Sometimes I think we are just like that toddler. We are living life and all of a sudden something doesn’t go our way. One of our friends hurts us, we didn’t get the job we wanted, our child isn’t doing what we want them do to do, we lose someone close to us, we aren’t getting pregnant, or our marriage is in shambles.

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

So naturally we get upset, hurt, and start to throw a temper tantrum.

Until, God gets down on his knees like a loving daddy at our level. He gently lifts our head up and says. “You know I love you don’t you. You know that I will do what is good for you. Right? Then calm down Krista. Take a deep breathe and calm down. We will walk through this together.”

Just some things I’ve been thinking about, food for thought!

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

Now, here is some food for your tummies, Stuffed Shells with Ground Beef, Spinach, & Mushrooms.

Not only are these super easy to make but they are really light with only 223 calories per serving! (and the serving size is 2.5 shells) Woot Woot.

I tried to keep the ingredients in this simple, adding in beef because who doesn’t like beef and a couple vegetables to give an added nutrition. The meat mixture is delicious and hearty and goes perfectly with the homemade tomato basil sauce. (guys once you make this sauce you will never buy store bought again!)

This dish in no way skimps on flavor even though it does on calories, I hope it makes its debut on your dinner table sometime soon!

Hugs!

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

Print

Ground Beef & Spinach Stuffed Shells with Tomato Basil Sauce

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Pasta, Beef,

Ingredients

  • 30 large shells
  • 1 tablespoons of grape seed oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup of diced baby portabella mushrooms (about 3-4)
  • 1 lb. of lean ground beef
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Tomato Basil Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of finely diced red onion
  • 28 oz. can of Muir Glen Crushed tomato with basil
  • 1/2 cup of chiffon fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat a small saucepan to to medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil, 2 garlic cloves, and red onion to the pan. Saute until translucent – about 3-4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes to saucepan and reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. To finish it off add basil at the end and remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling season water with salt and add 30 large shells. Cook shells to al dente according to package directions. Remove shells from pot and place immediately in an ice bath to shock the pasta and stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  4. In the meantime, heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil and 1 garlic clove. Saute for 30 seconds and add in diced portabella mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are just soft.
  5. Add in ground beef and cook until there is no more pink, about 5-6 minutes. Then add in spinach, cook until spinach is wilted.
  6. In a large bowl, add cottage cheese, egg, and ground beef mixture.
  7. In a 13×9 baking dish, add 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Stuff shells with 2-3 tablespoons of filling and line up in baking dish until full.
  8. Top shells with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2.5 shells per person
  • Calories: 223
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 163mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 54mg

IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO SNAP A PIC AND HASHTAG IT#JOYFULHEALTHYEATS. I LOVE SEEING WHAT YOU MAKE!

Want More Vegetarian Recipes?

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Balsamic Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pita Pizza with Arugula

Four Cheese Ravioli with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Four Cheese Ravioli with Homemade Marinara Sauce_3

An easy Stuffed Shells recipe with ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms then topped with a homemade marinara sauce - all for only 223 calories per serving! | joyfulhealthyeats.com #recipes

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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39 Responses
  1. I don’t have kids but I used to be a full time nanny so I totally know about toddler meltdowns. It can be stressful but the best part is that they always calm down 🙂 I feel like this dish is really comforting and perfect for chilly winter days.

  2. Dawn

    I made this for dinner tonight, and it was a huge hit! I’m making the mustard pork chops later in the week. You are hitting it out of the park! (Sorry, it’s almost baseball season)
    So glad I found your little corner of the internet!

    1. oohhhh…. you totally just made my day Dawn!!! So glad to hear that it was a hit AND that your making the pork chops. 🙂

      PS loving the baseball analogies… i’m a sports girl at heart!

      1. Dawn

        Also, hang in there with the tantrums. It will get better….my five year old is a perfectionist. Definitely not just your child. Been there ☺️ beautiful picture also of the Father comforting us.

        1. Thanks girl, just calmed one down two seconds ago because he wanted to watch Paw Patrol before naptime. Meltdown Central! 🙂

          Its the simple things I think that God speaks to us through, ya know!

  3. Oh you’re such a good mommy… and cook! This dish is right up my alley. I swear I’m half Italian. I’m not but I’d like to think I am because if I could, I would eat this Every. Single. Day. It looks absolutely delicious!

  4. I remember those toddler days, lucky a calming voice and a big hug could usually do the trick for me. I have to admit, somedays I wish I could fall on the floor and kick and scream. That release would feel so good as I am one who keeps things inside. But like you, in those moments when I want to scream I pray instead and that calm voice still does the trick. Now, these shells: oh mama, these looks comforting and flavorful and could easily be a family favorite.

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