branching out with gruyere

Hi everyone!

I’m working on some posts about our trip to Disney, so come back soon if you’re interested in some good tips!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a new recipe. 

I have had this in my “to try” recipe file for a few months and I’ve shied away from making it because it contains gruyere cheese.  Has anyone out there tried it before?  I never had, and not to mention that it’s rather expensive, at least around here – so the recipe has been sitting in my file. 

And that’s a shame.  Because it’s absolutely delicious! 

As a side note, if you want to try it:  I found the cheese cheaper at BJs (and I have enough now to make this twice!).  The cheese is somewhat similar to swiss, but much more mild.  And mixed with the sharp cheddar, it is lovely.  And by lovely, I mean that I had a hard time stopping eating even though I was full!  Now I find myself brainstorming what other recipes I could use gruyere in!

Here’s the recipe:

Cheesy Shell-Stuffed Shells

(this is from Better Homes and Gardens, Oct. 2010 issue.  Kudos to the creator, Jeffrey Cifranic.  Hopefully I haven’t violated any copyrights!  You can find this exact recipe at )

  • 24    dried jumbo shell macaroni
  • 8  oz.  dried tiny shell macaroni (2 cups)
  • 2  cups  Gruyére cheese, shredded (8 oz.)
  • 2  cups  shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
  • 3/4  cup  half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/8  tsp.  ground white pepper or pepper
  • 1  24-oz. jar  vodka sauce or your favorite tomato pasta sauce
  • 4  oz.  brick cheese or mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  •     Fresh basil leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer shells to a colander. Rinse with cold water; drain well and set aside. In same pan cook tiny shells according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine Gruyére cheese, cheddar cheese, half-and-half, and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Stir in tiny shells.

3. Spread about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon cheese-shell mixture into drained jumbo shells; place stuffed shells in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining pasta sauce.

4. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with brick cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil. Makes 6 servings.

**I have one child who doesn’t like spaghetti sauce, so in a single-serving size pyrex dish, I put a small amount of just the “shells and cheese” mixture, topped it with some mozzarella cheese and baked it.  Voila – she was happy with her plain mac & cheese!

So branch out and try a new cheese!  I know I’m glad I did!

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