Sunday, July 28, 2019

#Super Easy Cheesy Stuffed Shells and a #Giveaway By @Heather Webber

Please join me in welcoming one of my best buddies, Heather Webber! Heather and I have been friends for years and used to travel around doing book events with a group call the Deadly Divas. If you want to see us in our tiaras and boas check out the Deadly Diva FB page. ;)

Heather has a brand new book out and she's joining us here at MLK to tell you a bit about it and give one lucky person a signed copy. To have a chance to win leave a comment and your e-mail address.

Now, with no further ado, here's Heather.....

While my latest book, Midnight at the Blackbird Café, is set in the South, and is loaded with southern foods—and plenty of pies—my typical go-to food at home here in southern Ohio is pasta. I truly could eat pasta every day of the week and be quite happy about it. Spaghetti and meatballs. Chicken parmesan. Chicken alfredo. Lasagna. Yum!

One of my easier pasta recipes to throw together is stuffed shells. It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, too, which is nice when you know you have a busy day ahead (just cook it longer to make sure it’s heated through). The hardest part is stuffing the shells, which isn’t the least bit difficult but is time-consuming and a little messy. But honestly, I think it’s rather fun. You could always use a pastry bag to pipe the cheese mix into the shells for a nice, picture-worthy look. I tend to cook my shells seam-side down, but you could absolutely do seam-side up as well. When I took the pictures for today’s post, I happened to have leftover homemade sauce on hand, but jarred sauce works just as easily.

These stuffed shells are a tasty, comfort-food kind of meal, and I generally serve them with salad or garlic bread (or both!). Are you a pasta-lover? If so, what’s your favorite pasta recipe?

12 oz. box of jumbo shells
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
½ c. shredded parmesan, divided
45 oz. spaghetti sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
* This recipe is easily customizable. All seasonings can be adjusted for taste. Possible additions to either the sauce or cheese mixture: ground beef or chicken, Italian sausage, well-drained spinach, mushrooms, basil, oregano, marjoram, or parsley. Let your taste buds guide you.

1) Preheat oven to 400°.
2) Lightly grease a 9” x 13” baking dish.
3) Cook shells according to package; drain; cool; set aside.
4) Spoon some spaghetti sauce over the bottom of the greased dish, just covering it.

5) In a medium-size bowl, combine ricotta, 1 ½ c. mozzarella, ¼ c. parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
6) Once combined, use a spoon to fill the shells and arrange the shells in the baking dish.

7) Pour remaining sauce over the shells.

8) Sprinkle top of shells with remaining cheeses.
9) Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes until heated through.

Serve with garlic bread sticks!

 Nestled in the mountain shadows of Alabama lies the little town of Wicklow. It is here that Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café.

It was supposed to be a quick trip to close the café and settle her grandmother’s estate, but despite her best intentions to avoid forming ties or even getting to know her father’s side of the family, Anna Kate finds herself inexplicably drawn to the quirky Southern town her mother ran away from so many years ago, and the mysterious blackbird pie everybody can’t stop talking about.
As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to take her broken wings and fly.

----Heather Webber, aka Heather Blake, is the author of more than twenty-five novels. She loves to read, drink too much coffee and tea, birdwatch, crochet, and bake. She currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and is hard at work on her next book.

Find her at
Twitter: @booksbyheather
Instagram: @booksbyheather


  1. Appreciate this give away. And the recipe. Book looks good too. Would love to read. Sooner. Rather than later. Della at deepotter at centurylink dot net

  2. Yep, pasta will do any day. I have a stuffed shell recipe from years ago from Ragu or some jarred sauce I used to use. Have modified it a bit but it's still a standby. Thanks for the giveaway. And love your posts on your FB site.

  3. We have a nine day period coming up where the only time we eat meat is at the Sabbath meal. This will be a great dinner for one of the nights with leftovers for lunch on another day. I got your new book from the library but would be thrilled to win a copy for my personal collection.

  4. Exactly the sort of pasta dish I love to make and eat! Thank you. Many years ago I had a recipe for manicotti and I remember it being so delicious. I found the recipe and recently made it again and it wasn't nearly as good, especially for all the work involved. I have no idea why. So disappointing. But I plan to make your stuffed shells very soon. The book sounds very good too! jmpurcel at hotmail dot com

  5. A delectable and special pasta dish which I will make for the family. I know that this will be enjoyed. The book sounds captivating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. My mother-in-law makes something similar to this for my husband's birthday every year. It's his favorite. I will be using your recipe myself this year! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for this wonderful pasta meal which is perfect and tasty. Your book is a real treasure and unique. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. Welcome back to the Kitchen, Heather, and congrats on the new novel!

  9. Looking forward to making this once the temperature starts to drop!

  10. Love pasta - thanks for the recipe!

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  11. Oh yum. Lasagna is my favorite pasta, but I definitely want to try these stuffed shells.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  12. This sounds so good and my hubby and I were just talking something similar to lasagna. I would love to read the book and review sounds so peggy clayton Thank you also for giving away a print copy as I am disabled and have crippled fingers hubby does 99% of cooking i just do the clean up oh well RSD really limits me.

  13. The recipe sounds great and I’ve heard good things from ARC readers of this book.

  14. Love stuffed shells! Recipe looks delicious. Love reading books set in the South, looking forward to reading "Midnight At The Blackbird Cafe".

  15. My family loves lasagna but sometimes it can feel heavy so we choose stuffed shells instead. Thanks for the insight into "Midnight At The Blackbird Cafe." robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. Welcome today. What a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing. Congrats on your new book. This sounds like a wonderful read.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  17. Love books with recipes. Would like to win this one.

  18. My kids would LOVE this! And they're picky! Thanks for the recipe. Would love to read your book. Thanks!

  19. Pasta is so versatile! I haven't tried stuffing shells or manicotti or anything in a long time. Yummy results but messy endeavor! I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  20. I love pasta, any and all! I haven't had stuffed shells in so long, now that's all I can think about. Thanks for the recipe. I've heard such good things about this book.

  21. I love trying new recipes.

  22. The shells look good and I know the book is.
    sgiden at Verizon(.)net

  23. I'm going to make it for sure. I'd love to read your book. Thank you for the chance

  24. Recipe sounds good, if a little messy when stuffing the shells. :) I think my family would like this.
    And I'd like the book.

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  25. My favorite pasta dish is manicotti, but I love stuffed shells, too. Thank you for the recipe and chance to win a copy of your book. cecilialyoung at gmail dot com

  26. The shells look delicious and I want to read your book. The cover has been calling to me. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  27. I love stuffed shells and plan to try the recipe.

  28. This recipe is going to be me...soon!! Looks wonderful. I would love to win and read this book. It sounds like a book that I would love. bentleyboy22(at)comcast(dot)net

  29. I have a meaty manicotti recipe that I love to make, but my favorite to eat is shrimp scampi (not Red Lobster’s but big shrimp in a garlic butter sauce with angel hair pasta). Your stuffed shells sound fabulous and I’ll give them a try. The book sounds great and I’m adding it to my to be read list. 😊

  30. These look absolutely divine! I adore pasta. Thank you for the easy recipe.

  31. We love stuffed shells! They're easy to change up (use chicken and broccoli, Italian sausage and red sauce, taco meat, whatever), and my kids will both eat them.

    Thanks for the giveaway! bunkielisa (at) gmail (dot) com

  32. Thanks for the recipe will give it a try. Looking forward to your new book. I think we will do pasta tonight!🙂