Recipe Review

These Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Shells Are as Easy as They Are Comforting

published Aug 16, 2022
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A stuffed shell recipe from What's Gaby Cooking in a white pan on a marble surface.
Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Gaby Dalkin’s stuffed shell recipe is similar to the stuffed shells I grew up with, but she swaps in ground turkey for beef. I loved how familiar the recipe felt and the fact that I had most of the ingredients on hand. I couldn’t wait to give it a try to see if the short ingredient list could provide the flavor and comfort I was after.

Get the recipe: Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Shells at What’s Gaby Cooking

How to Make Gaby’s Stuffed Shells  

This recipe starts by putting the shells on to cook. While they boil, you make a quick turkey Bolognese. First, you sauté chopped onions for about 5 minutes. Once the onions are soft, add chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. To the seasoned onions, add ground dark turkey meat and break apart using a wooden spoon. Once the meat is fully cooked, stir in store-bought marinara sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

To assemble the stuffed shells, you spread a cup of reserved marinara in the bottom of the baking dish, then stuff the shells with the Bolognese. The stuffed shells get lined up in rows on top of the sauce, then you cover the dish with foil and baked at 350°F for 15 minutes. Next you uncover the shells, top them with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and bake until the cheese is lightly golden-brown and bubbly, which takes 5 to 10 minutes. For a little freshness, Gaby calls for garnishing the dish with lots of fresh basil before serving. 

My Honest Review of Gaby’s Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are for you if you’re a fan of a classic Bolognese sauce. This recipe utilizes pantry ingredients like garlic, chili flakes, and Italian seasoning. The Bolognese is made with dark turkey meat, which has more fat and flavor than the standard 85/15 ground turkey. I enjoyed this recipe because of how delicious it was, how easy it was to prepare, and that I only had to dirty one pan to make the filling. I was initially hesitant about this recipe because it didn’t use ricotta cheese in the filling, only a topping of mozzarella and Parm, but the sauce-meat-cheese ratio was spot-on and the touch of fresh basil was a lovely addition. I definitely came back for more than a few bites.

If You Make Gaby’s Stuffed Shells, Here’s My #1 Tip

Consider adding your favorite vegetables: If you’re craving simplicity, then the turkey base is an excellent start for you. However, if you want to add more body to the filling, I suggest sautéing vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, or leeks. Adding these vegetables to the Bolognese not only enhances the flavor, but also stretches the servings!

Rating: 8/10