Everyone loves pasta and this veggie-packed version of ricotta stuffed shells offers all the flavor and comfort of a classic, family-favorite with a healthy twist. Prepare it for Sunday supper or add it to the recipe box as a go-to potluck dish. Let’s dive into the recipe!
Nutrition Tip: Popeye had the right idea by eating spinach to keep him strong, as this leafy green contains enzymes important for strengthening muscles.
Why Should You Make These Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Shells?
They’re healthier than classic stuffed shells
This recipe offers a healthier twist on a classic family favorite. With nutrient-rich vegetables, such as spinach, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini, the dish offers a balance of flavors and textures while boosting the nutritional content of your meal. And, thanks to using lower-fat cheeses in combination with these tasty veggies, you can enjoy the flavors and comfort of stuffed shells without the guilt.
Your kids will love them – even with the veggies!
Stuffed shells are a crowd-pleasing dish that is loved by both kids and adults. By making this recipe, you can provide a wholesome and nutritious meal that your whole family will enjoy. It’s a great way to introduce more vegetables into your children’s diet without compromising on taste.
They’re incredibly easy to make
The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it ideal for busy moms or anyone looking for a quick and delicious meal option. With just a few simple steps, you can have a satisfying and nutritious dinner on the table in no time.
The recipe is versatile too
Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Shells can be served as a standalone meal or as part of a larger spread. Whether you’re hosting a potluck, attending a gathering, or simply enjoying a cozy family dinner, this dish is versatile and adaptable to different occasions.
If you happen to have leftovers, the stuffed shells can be refrigerated and enjoyed as a quick and convenient meal option throughout the week. They can also be reheated easily, making them a practical choice for meal prepping or busy days.
Related: Learn 7 delicious ways to cook zucchini!
Tips for Meal Prepping the Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Shells
1. Prepare a Batch for the Week: Make a larger batch of the stuffed shells and portion them out into individual containers. Store them in the refrigerator and have them ready to grab for quick and easy lunches or dinners throughout the week. Simply reheat in the microwave or oven when ready to eat.
2. Freeze for Future Meals: If you’re looking to have a ready-to-go meal option for the future, consider assembling the stuffed shells but don’t bake them. Place the stuffed shells in a freezer-safe dish, cover tightly with foil or a lid, and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy them, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed in the recipe.
3. Make Stuffed Shells Meal Kits: Prepare all the components of the recipe, including cooking the pasta shells, mixing the cheese and vegetable filling, and portioning out the sauce. Store the cooked shells, filling, and sauce separately in containers. When you’re ready to enjoy the stuffed shells, simply assemble everything together and bake. This way, you have the convenience of a prepped meal but with the flexibility to customize the number of shells you want to prepare each time.
4. Stuffed Shells Salad: Repurpose the ingredients by creating a stuffed shells salad. Cook the pasta shells, let them cool, and then cut them into smaller pieces. Mix them with a bed of fresh greens, such as baby spinach or arugula. Top with the cheese and vegetable filling, and drizzle with your favorite dressing. It’s a refreshing and nutritious salad option that utilizes the flavors of the stuffed shells.
5. Stuffed Shells Casserole: Transform the stuffed shells into a comforting casserole dish. Layer the cooked shells in a baking dish, alternating with the sauce, cheese, and vegetable filling. Repeat the layers until all the shells and filling are used. Top with some additional sauce and cheese. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. When you’re prepared to enjoy it, simply pop it in the oven and bake until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remember to label and date your prepped containers for easy reference, and ensure proper storage in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness. These meal prep ideas will save you time during busy weekdays and provide you with delicious and nutritious meals that are ready to go whenever you need them.
Looking for more Italian inspired recipes? Check these out:
- Italian Orzo Pasta Salad
- Rainbow Italian Pasta Salad
- Italian Vegetable Wild Rice Salad
- Italian Grilled Chicken & Veggies
- One-Pan Italian Pork Tenderloin and Broccoli
- Gluten-Free Italian Meatloaf Muffins
Let’s make these Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Shells!
Cheesy Veggie Stuffed Shells
- 24 jumbo pasta shells cooked according to package directions
- 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups baby spinach chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1/3 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 26 oz. jar low-sodium pasta sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix ricotta, ½ cup mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, spinach, onion, mushrooms, zucchini and garlic in large mixing bowl.
- Fill each cooked pasta shell with 2 Tbsp. cheese/vegetable mixture and arrange in 13×9-inch baking dish. Top with pasta sauce and bake 30 minutes. Top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.