These take less time, easy to increase quantity and freeze well w/o having to add butter to keep from sticking together...
I hope you'll give them a try and that you'll find them to be really good and easy! ?
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- 6 qt
- boiling water
- 1 box
- jumbo pasta stuffing shells (20-28 in box)
- 3-4 c
- mashed potatoes (make your own or use frozen, prepared)
- 1/2 c
- finely diced onion
- 1/2 c
- sour cream (can sub french onion dip)
- 8 oz
- shredded cheese (mexican blend, cheddar, or your choice
- 1/2 tsp
- salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp
- pepper (or to taste)
- 1-1/2 stick
- butter, cut in small pieces
- 1 medium
- thinly sliced onion (i use mandoline to make it paper thin so they cook up faster)
- 1/2 lb
- bacon, chopped & fried crispy & drained
- 6 oz
- cremini mushrooms, cleaned & chopped
- 1 can(s)
- sauerkraut (14.5 oz), drained
1Preheat oven to 350°F.
2In large pot, bring 6 quarts water to a boil. Cook shells, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes; drain well in colander. The shells should just be soft enough to 'flex' them, not cooked tender. Set aside.
3Peel and cook potatoes until tender; drain well, return to pan and heat a few minutes to eliminate any excess moisture.
4Mash potatoes well; add sour cream, onions, shredded cheese, salt & pepper. Using an electric mixer, blend and mix in the cheese. Let set for about 5-10 minutes so cheese melts into potatoes and stir again to make sure it’s well combined.
5In 13” x 9” x 2” pan or baking dish, place the half stick of butter; set pan in oven a few minutes to melt the butter. Remove from oven and set aside.
6Fill each shell with potato mixture just even to top. Repeat with all shells and arrange in prepared pan.
7Thinly slice the medium onion and separate into rings; just sprinkle them over tops of shells and top with remaining butter pats.
Bake @ 350°F, covered with foil, for about 25 min.; then remove foil and bake 5-10 min longer uncovered.
8Serve w/ additional sour cream for topping, if desired. I also sometimes use French Onion Dip in place of sour cream; it gives a little zip to it!
To Freeze: Put slightly cooled shells in zipper-style freezer bags or containers. They will not stick together too much, but you can add a little olive oil (few drops only) to help them stay separated.
9Try this cheese blend for an alternative...it's good! DIY Mexican cheese blend
10NOTE: I do another version of these shells, filling is sauerkraut, chopped bacon & mushrooms...chop 1/2 lb bacon & cook til crisp; drain & set aside. Clean and chop 6 oz. cremini mushrooms. Drain a small can of kraut, put in nonstick skillet & heat through, adding in bacon & mushrooms. I put a thin layer of the kraut mixture in bottom of casserole, then fill shells with mixture and bake, covered, for about 30 minutes. Pictures are included here...enjoy! It's a really nice change from the ordinary!