Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Instant Pot Stuffed Shells

Classic stuffed shells get and easy makeover. No more pre cooking the shells in this dump and go version!  


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Pasta is one of our favorite meals.Whether it is stovetop, baked or instant pot; we love it all.

Lately, I have switched over to making a LOT of pasta dishes using the Instant Pot. Not only is it easy and quick, it is uses just one pot meaning lesser clean up.

Large shell pasta is definitely one of our favorites. Super versatile in a way that they can be filled with various fillings, topped with different sauces and make perfect sharing and freezing recipe.


Why use the Instant Pot to make this recipe?


The traditional method to make them is to boil the pasta, stuff them and bake them in sauce and cheese. 

This recipe eliminates the boiling part and the shells can be filled uncooked. They are then cooked in the Instant Pot with the sauce. 

This way the recipe can be made using just two pots; one for the filling and one is the Instant Pot

I have used a simple filling made from corn, spinach and cheese. This can be swapped by SO many combinations. 

Have you tried the Mealthy Multipot? Read my review for that here. Buy your own Multipot here. Remember you can get $10 off on any product from Mealthy (above $59.95) using the code HERBIVORECUCINA. Or get yours from Amazon.



Why use mushrooms in the recipe?


This is a vegetarian version of stuffed shells. It uses mushrooms for two reasons. 

First, the meaty texture of sautéed mushroom replicates meat in most dishes. 

Plus, a layer of mushrooms creates a gap between the base of the pot and the shells. This way the shells will not stick to the base.

Not a fan of mushrooms? Swap it with onions and pepper slices like fajita. They will be great in the recipe and help create the gap we desire. 


Why is this recipe so good?


This is by far the easiest way to make stuffed shells. An elegant dinner recipe that is great for parties, weeknight dinner or family brunch; this recipe is super versatile.

Believe in meal prep? Make the filling before hand and use it to make the recipe in a jiffy on busy weeknights. 

A semi-homemade recipe, this can be converted to a completely homemade recipe by making the marinara sauce from scratch. 

The cooked shells can be refrigerated for 1-2 days and frozen in batches for much longer. These can then be heated in the microwave and served. 



Variations


As I mentioned above, this recipe can be made without mushrooms too. Swap it for fajita to get the same results. 

I used large shells but the same can be done using Manicotti or other large fillable pasta shapes too. 

The marinara sauce in the recipe can be swapped for pesto, butternut squash sauce or even Alfredo sauce. They will all work really well in the recipe. 

The filling uses spinach, corn and cheese. Add in ricotta cheese if you like or even eliminate the cheese completely for a Vegan version.

Swap the filling with vegetables of your choice. Adding paneer, tofu or black beans is a great way to make the dish differently.


Love pasta? Try one of these then:



Step by step recipe


In a pan melt 1 tbsp unsalted butter. 

Once it starts to melt, add garlic. Mix and let the raw flavor vanish.


Add in chopped spinach, oregano, chili flakes, salt and pepper.Mix well.

Cook it down till the spinach wilts and almost dries up. Turn down the flame and let it cool. 


Once cool, add the shredded cheese and corn. Mix well. 



Using a spoon or piping bag fill the uncooked shells with the spinach corn mixture. 



Set the Instant Pot mode to Sauté. Add the remaining butter and let it heat up. Add the mushroom slices and sauté till they release all the moisture.

Press cancel and add 1 cup water (for 3 quart instant pot) or 2 cups water (for 6 or 8 quart instant pot) and deglaze.



Arrange the stuffed shells on the mushroom layer such that they remain upright. If they need to be stacked, carefully place them on top of the bottom layer. 

Add the marinara sauce and top with Italian Seasoning and shredded cheese. Do NOT stir.


Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the mode to pressure cook on high pressure. Adjust time to 6 minutes and close the vent. 

Once the cooking is done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and release the remaining pressure manually.

Carefully open the instant pot and remove the shells. Serve them topped with the sauce and mushrooms. 


Ingredients


Jumbo Shell Pasta 8 oz, uncooked

Spinach 4 cups, packed
Corn Kernels 1/2 cup
Mushrooms 8-10 pieces, sliced
Garlic 2-3 fat cloves, grated
Mozzarella Cheese 1/2 cup, shredded
Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1/2 cup, shredded
Salt 3/4 tsp



Method


In a pan melt 1 tbsp unsalted butter. 


Once it starts to melt, add garlic. Mix and let the raw flavor vanish.



Add in chopped spinach, oregano, chili flakes, salt and pepper.Mix well.


Cook it down till the spinach wilts and almost dries up. Turn down the flame and let it cool. 

Once cool, add the shredded cheese and corn. Mix well. 

Using a spoon or piping bag fill the uncooked shells with the spinach corn mixture. 

Set the Instant Pot mode to Sauté. Add the remaining butter and let it heat up. Add the mushroom slices and sauté till they release all the moisture.

Press cancel and add 1 cup water (for 3 quart instant pot) or 2 cups water (for 6 or 8 quart instant pot) and deglaze.

Arrange the stuffed shells on the mushroom layer such that they remain upright. If they need to be stacked, carefully place them on top of the bottom layer. 

Add the marinara sauce and top with Italian Seasoning and shredded cheese. Do NOT stir.

Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the mode to pressure cook on high pressure. Adjust time to 6 minutes and close the vent. 

Once the cooking is done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and release the remaining pressure manually.

Carefully open the instant pot and remove the shells. Serve them topped with the sauce and mushrooms. I like mine with some garlic bread.



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