Smoked turkey and spinach stuffed pasta shells

by Scotty Irani
Food Columnist

Woohoooo, it’s the biggest food holiday of the year! Turkey, ham, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes…carbs of every shape and color. Hold on, I’m passing out.

Okay, so because Thanksgiving is such a big food holiday, that typically means we overdo it on the preparation and then we are left with…leftovers.

If you are like me, when Thanksgiving is over I am done with Thanksgiving. I do not want a repeat of what I had the day before (or house before - no judging on the holidays, kiddos).

So, what to do with leftover turkey? Stuff your face with stuffed shells! It’s utilizing the leftover turkey -  smoked, roasted or fried - and making a brand new “non-Thanksgiving” meal. It’s also delicious.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

XOXO, Chef Scotty

Smoked Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells


3 cups ground leftover smoked turkey (I used half smoked turkey and half regular roasted turkey.
 Whatever you have will work)

5 ounces stemmed fresh baby spinach

15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

2 large egg yolks

2 fresh garlic cloves, micro-planed or minced

1 teaspoon or to taste In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning”

12 ounces large pasta shells for stuffing

32 ounces seasoned tomato/marinara sauce

Grated mozzarella or smoked mozzarella to top the shells


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your large pasta shells to al dente. Drain and set aside. Next, in a food processor, grind up your leftover turkey meat until it looks like coarse grain. Don’t let it go too far or you will turn it into paste.

2. In a mixing bowl add your stemmed spinach and ricotta cheese. Mix to combine. Add the garlic, egg yolks and Cook’s Line Seasoning (or salt and pepper to taste) and mix again. Fold in the ground turkey to bind it all together and taste for additional salt and pepper.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a large casserole dish or roasting pan, spoon or pour in a shallow amount of the marinara sauce. Begin stuffing your shells: Take a regular sized kitchen spoon, gather a nice rounded spoonful of filling, and scoop in your filling. Round and smooth off the filling and gently lay on top of the marinara sauce.

4. Spoon remaining sauce over each individual stuffed shell, cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle on the grated mozzarella cheese and place back in the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve when you’re ready. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 2 dozen.

Copyright The Gayly – November 22, 2017 @ 7:20 a.m. CST.