This healthier 3 cheese baked shells recipe is perfect for that cheesy pasta craving we all have…. but this version is bumped up with mega protein without meat!
Pasta and cheese are basically essential food groups for me.
Or, I am swapping out things like flour and cream, and swapping in cottage cheese – like I did for the Healthier 3 Cheese Baked Shells recipe!
This recipe is much lighter in texture than a traditional cheesy pasta bake.
There is no heavy dense sauce to weigh you down. This version focuses on a medley of 3 cheeses, and uses the cottage cheese as the much lighter sauce.
My history of making healthier swaps runs deep. I have been known to put white beans into white cheddar soup, or quinoa into cheeseburger meatloaf minis, and of course sneaky carrots and zucchini into my husbands favorite spaghetti sauce. So, trust me when I say cottage cheese sauce is a win!
Healthier 3 Cheese Baked Shells
- 3 cups uncooked small pasta shells
- 750g container 2% cottage cheese
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cook the pasta shells according to the package. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the cottage cheese, garlic, pepper, and Dijon into a high speed blender.
- Pulse until the ingredients are combined and create a sauce. This should be a think sauce, so make sure you don't over blend.
- Once the cottage cheese sauce is blended, add the mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in the Gruyere cheese until combined.
- Add the noodles to the cheese sauce and gently combine.
- Add the cheese and shell mixture to a greased 8 X 8 square baking dish.
- Top with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes. If you like a very crispy cheese top, use the broiler for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
So, there you have it, Healthier 3 Cheese Baked Shells is another way to pump up some protein and lighten up a classic family fav dish!