Sausage, cheddar and apple stuffed shells

I’ve spent far too long thinking about recipes with stuffed shells. Still, it was something that people said they wanted and who am I to argue?

Still, as I was contemplating stuffed shells, I could help but wonder if there was a way to do dessert recipes with stuffed shells. To be honest, I’ve never had much luck with dessert and pasta. Especially pasta with the thickness of a stuffed shell.

However, the idea of a sweeter recipe with stuffed shells wouldn’t leave my mind so easily. So, I started thinking about how to add a hint of sweetness without making dessert and it was not too long until I remembered sausage and apples are like best friends in the culinary world. I didn’t want to stop there, though, so I added a little cheddar cheese for the bite and now we have sausage, cheddar and apple stuffed shells.

You will need:

  • 1 box of stuffed shells, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage (I would not use Italian sausage for this dish)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup apples, diced (Gala apples or Honeycrisp work best)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Paprika for some color

Normally when making stuffed shells, I prefer to cook the pasta in very salty water. In this case, I’m not so concerned about the “very” part. You want to use some salt, but you don’t have to use as much as normal. This is because salty shells will overwhelm the apple.

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until just brown. Remove.
  3. There should be some sausage fat in the skillet. If not, you may need to add a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add the apples and cook until they just start to brown, maybe 1-2 minutes at most.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sausage back in with the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir to mix the ingredients.
  7. Fill the shells with your mixture and place them in a baking dish greased with butter.
  8. Mix the heavy cream, garlic powder and white pepper, then pour over the shells.
  9. Top with Paprika.
  10. Bake until the cream thickens, about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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