Danielle Kartes - Inside Out Creamy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey & Broccoli

Danielle Kartes - Inside Out Creamy Stuffed Shells with Ground Turkey & Broccoli
Danielle Kartes has the perfect recipe to get little ones to eat their vegetables.
Inside Out Creamy Stuffed Shells
Makes One 9-X-13 Casserole Dish
30 Minutes


  • Large pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • Handled measuring cup
  • Colander
  • 9 by 13 casserole dish


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups broccoli florets*
  • 8-10 ounces large shell pasta (that’s a little over half of a box)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup pasta cooking water


Step 1.

Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease your 9-x-13 casserole dish. Smear that butter into every corner.

Step 2.

Let’s get those broccoli flowers blanched! This means we are giving them a quick dip into boiling water to cook them slightly. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in those broccoli florets. Do this very gently with an adult’s help. Don’t get those hands near the water. Let them cook for 3 minutes. Set a kitchen timer or sing a song! Adult helpers, this one’s for you: using a slotted spoon, get all the broccoli out of the boiling water.

Step 3.

Add the noodles to the same pot the broccoli was blanched in. Cook them in boiling water for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Once they finish, have an adult remove one cup of the cooking water and set it aside. The easiest way is just to dip a handled measuring cup right into the water. Drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 4.

Now that the pot is empty, it’s ready to make your meaty and cheesy sauce! Ask a grown-up to set the burner temperature to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Brown the ground turkey until it’s completely cooked. This takes about 7-10 minutes. Halfway through, add the garlic. Now, season with salt and pepper! Ask an adult to show you just how much salt and pepper to add. Now, add the flour and stir it around the pot for 3-4 minutes. Next, in goes the milk. It’s time to stir the pot now and wait for the sauce to thicken. Once the milk has thickened, add the broccoli and cheese! Stir, stir, stir!

Step 5.

Once the cheese is melted, add the noodles. This is the best part! All that cheese sauce is filling the shells as you stir them! If you need it to be a little smoother or creamier, just add a little reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time.

Step 6.

Pour the mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Cover with more shredded cheese, if you’d like. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


  • Use any ground meat you’d like! Chicken and beef are great! Don’t want meat? Skip it!
  • This can be made 2 days ahead of time and even frozen for up to 1 week before you bake it!
  • Want a crunchy top? Simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter mixed with 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over the top of the shells before you bake it!
  • Feel free to add any green veggies. Peas and spinach work great!

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