This Spinach & Zucchini Stuffed Shells is a delicious twist to an Italian classic, and a wonderful vegetarian dish to feature for Meatless Monday. This is a great dish to make ahead and cook later on during the week when you don’t have the time to do all the labor, and want a delicious meal!
- 1 Stove Top
- 1 Stock Pot
- 1 Strainer
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 9 x 13 Baking Dish
- 1 Oven
- 24 Jumbo Stuffed Shells
- 16 ounces Ricotta cheese
- 10 ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach thawed and drained well
- 2 ounces Parmesan reggiano
- 8 ounces Shredded Mozzarella Cheese divided
- 1 egg
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Olive Oil Spray
- 24 ounces Marinara Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil (salt with about 1 tablespoon) on high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the shells, and stir often so they don’t stick together. Cook for 8-9 minutes until al dente.
- While the pasta boils. Squeeze the thawed spinach removing all the liquids out of it.
- In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, drained spinach, crushed garlic, Parmesan reggiano, ¾ cup mozzarella, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix until it’s well blended.
- Drain shells, and rinse well under cold water bringing the shells to room temperature. Begin to separate the shells onto a paper towel lined surface.
- Spray a 9x11 baking dish with olive oil spray. Add one cup of sauce to the pan and spread around so the bottom is just covered.
- Take a single shell pasta and scoop the filling using a teaspoon into the shell. Once filling is in shell, gently push the seems shut as best as possible. Place the shell seam side up and repeat this step until all shells are filled.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the shells making sure all of the shells are covered. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella cheese on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove aluminum foil after time is up and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
- Frozen Spinach - It is very important that the spinach should not have any liquids left in them. If they do your filling will become runny.
- Parmesan Cheese - If you wish to add more parmesean cheese to your filling omit the salt as Parmesan is naturally salty.
- Chill Pasta - Add ice cubes to the strainer so the shells can cool faster.
- Over Stuffing - Make sure to not overly fill the shells, but enough to where the seams barely meet when squeezed.
- Freezing For Future Meals - If you want to use the entire box of jumbo shells add an additional 1 cup of ricotta to the mix and double the remaining ingredients. You will be able to fill a 9x11 pan plus an additional 9x9 pan with stuffed shells. You will also need an additional 24 ounces of sauce.