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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Making stuffed shells is a labor of love for sure but these were totally worth it! I also loved that this is a vegetarian recipe and has broccoli so you get an entire balanced meal in one dish!
so glad you enjoyed it. for me, this is vegetarian comfort food at its best!
Wow, this broccoli stuffed shells is just what I have been looking for. Such a yum meal that even my old father-in-law will love. Absolutely great for the weekend when I am too lazy to cook. Thanks, Mir.
This was our meatless Monday dinner this week! SO delicious and simple to make. Everyone raved about it!
the kids love broccoli AND pasta. I don’t have the shells, so will figure this super comforting bake with Lasagna sheets or the like. Carbs, protein in a wholesome meal – loving it !
Spectacularly delicious!! Can’t wait to make this again!
I made the stuff shells last weekend for dinner, and they were absolutely amazing! The instructions were simple to follow, and the pasta was FULL of flavor!
These Italian stuffed shells came out perfectly! They were so cheesy and delicious. My kept coming back for more!
The entire family loved these! I thought they would be difficult to make, but your recipe made the process easy. A filling and delicious weeknight meal!
That cheesy ricotta filling is SO good with the marinara! I loved how easy this recipe was to follow too! Can’t wait to make this again!
I hadn’t tried broccoli in shells before and this recipe was such a nice twist! Easy to make and we loved the taste.
so glad you all enjoyed it
Broccoli cheese and pasta are hubby’s fav and all 3 in 1 is definitely a treat to him..loved the way the Broccoli and cheese are stuffed into the perfectly cooked pasta shells