Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by Chef Mireille
Vegetarian Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Broccoli is a delicious and scrumptious dinner for Meatless Monday. Three types of cheese, pasta and marinara sauce – what’s not to love? With broccoli added, this makes a healthy comfort food meal for any day of the week.
Although Stuffed Shells with Spinach is a bit more popular, I think it is just as good with broccoli. This delicious kid friendly recipe is the Best Stuffed Shells Recipe for sneaking more veggies into pasta dishes that they love.
This favorite Italian American meal is a crowd pleaser. Whether it is just a simple family dinner or a potluck party, this platter will have everyone oohing and aahing and won’t be able to stop indulging in this delicious meal!
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With broccoli and oodles of cheese, here is a delicious way to get your calcium boost!
This is one of the most convenient pasta dinner recipes!
Why should you make this Italian Stuffed Shells recipe?
- It’s a great meal prep recipe as it will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- It’s a great freezer meal. You can assemble the stuffed pasta shells and then cover it and freeze it for later.
- This vegetarian version means it can be enjoyed by everyone and I promise you, the meat eater’s won’t even notice with this delicious meal.
- If your kids hate vegetables, this is a great way to sneak extra veggies into a kid friendly meal.
- It’s an easy recipe, with basic supermarket ingredients. No hunt for exotic ingredients.
- Baked Stuffed Shells is a crowd pleaser. This recipe can serve a variety of needs – from family dinner to potluck parties to holiday meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ingredients are standard items you probably already even have in stock!
Ingredients for Stuffed Shells
- Jumbo Pasta Shells
- marinara sauce
- ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- dried oregano
- crushed red pepper
- Himalayan Pink salt
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CHECK OUT this easy scrumptious Stuffed Shells Recipe as a web story!
How to make Stuffed Shells with Ricotta Cheese
- Make the filling by combining the cooked broccoli with the cheeses and the seasonings.
- Cook pasta shells for 10 minutes. They should just be pliable, but not completely cooked.
- Now we stuff the shells. Although you can use a spoon, I find it easier to just wear gloves and do it by hand.
- Then we layer the stuffed shells with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. At this point, if desired you can cover it and freeze it as a make ahead meal. Then when you need a quick meal, just remove from the freezer, defrost and bake it up in the oven!
- Now we bake it in the oven.
To serve, take a few shells out with a spatula and then spoon a little of the sauce on the bottom over the top
For a complete Italian Meal, here are some ideas to compliment these amazing Stuffed Shells:
Panzanella Salad and for dessert, Italian Orange Cake.
Here are some other dinner ideas for Italian night!
Best Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe
- 6 oz. Jumbo Pasta Shells about 18
- 4 1/2 cups marinara
Stuffed Shells Filling Ingredients
- 1 large stalk broccoli about 2 cups after chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese
- 2/3 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Himalayan Pink salt to taste
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Steam broccoli for 5 minutes or cook in the microwave with 2 tablespoons water.
- Chop the broccoli very small.
- To make the filling, combine ricotta, mozzarella, Romano/Parmesan Cheese ,oregano, parsley, pepper and salt. Mix to combine thoroughly.
- Add the broccoli and mix to combine.
- Cook 8 oz. of the pasta shells in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and run cold water over shells immediately. Leave in cool water for the shells not to stick.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Take each shell and fill each shell with the broccoli filling.
- In a large casserole dish, pour about 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom.
- Place the stuffed shells on top of the marinara sauce.
- Add another 2 1/2 cups of marinara sauce on top.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top.
- Add remaining Marinara Sauce over the shells.
- Place in oven for 40 minutes.
- The shells should only be cooked enough that they are pliable. They should not be completely cooked when at the boiling stage.
- You can substitute the broccoli for spinach to make Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Use 2 cups of cooked spinach or defrosted frozen spinach.
- You can add ground beef to make Stuffed Shells with Meat.
- It is easiest to stuff the shells by doing it by hand, wearing gloves.
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Nice way to include brocolli in food.
Shells Look Perfect and spl with broccoli.. make healthy too 🙂
Such huge shells!..must be such a wonder finger food right..
The Pumpkin Farm
looks super delicious, nice excuse to dig in cheese 🙂
Yummy Looks so delicious 🙂
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different and looks very inviting… 🙂
Cheese, broccoli, pasta- love them.. Can never say no to a dish with them.. Yummy!!
I love including broccoli in various recipes,a nd now this one is a good idea 🙂
Thanks for sharing..
Oh yumm.. ooey, gooey, cheesy dish. Nutritious and delicious at the same time.
Yummy and super cheesy irresistible stuffed shells, i wont mind having for my lunch rite now.
Wow!! This looks soo yummy.. I love broccoli.. thanks for linking
I love anything broccoli, so naturally when I saw your recipe I had to try it. It was absolutely delicious. Great recipe thank you!
So glad you enjoyed this. It is especially great when broccoli is in season!
Now this is my kind of comfort food. I love the added veggies too.
yes – This will become a family favorite for sure!
Two types of cheese, plus broccoli – sounds perfect! I can’t wait to try it!
Love Stuffed shells! Thank you for providing all the alternate stuffing options – makes things so easy.
The recipe is so adaptable to a variety of stuffings.
I’ve always wanted to make stuffed shells and I’m so glad I found your recipe! The broccoli addition is perfect to get my kiddo to eat more veggies!
In this scrumptious recipe, no one will complain about the extra veggies 🙂
So yummy, and looks really impressive! I had a great time making these with my husband, and they tasted great.
glad you both enjoyed it!
The trick to making successful meatless dish is to make it taste great and you did just that. Full of flavor & very satisfying. Perfect.
Glad you loved it!
These stuffed shells are so delicious! I added zucchini too and my family gobbled them up!
Seasonal zucchini is a great idea to add to this!