I honestly can’t begin to tell you how delicious these skillet veggie and cheese stuffed shells are! They are easy to make, easy to clean up and even easier to eat if you ask me. Pasta is definitely one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but throwing in an assortment of fresh veggies somehow doesn’t make me feel as bad at the end of the day! C’mon I know you agree with me.
You guys this recipe literally couldn’t be any easier to make. If you can boil water and shred up some veggies then you’re already one step ahead of the game. For the filling I used shredded zucchini, carrots, spinach and onion all mixed together with a little garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan and, um, lemme just tell you that this sure makes one delicious combo! Pretty sure Mark could just eat this filling by the spoonful if no one was watching.
I also sauteed everything in the same skillet that I cooked the shells in which makes for super easy clean-up and less dishes to have to worry about. Your dishwasher (er husband) will thank you!
Okay let’s talk about sauce!
Now you could either make your own (which don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to do) or just use your favorite store-bought jar from your local grocer to save a little time. No ladies this does not mean you’re lazy! During the week sometimes it’s so nice to come home and whip up a quick, easy meal with just a few simple ingredients for your family and the great thing is this whole entire dish only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Either way I think you’ll agree these stuffed pasta shells are a win-win!
I mean not only will your kitchen smell incredible, but your kids (and hubbies) won’t even realize they’re eating veggies!
Hey it’s okay to be sneaky from time to time.
I also love this dish because it freezes really well too which is perfect for those busy weeknights. I can’t begin to tell you how stuffed our freezer is with pre-made meals ready to go, but they really are just so convenient! Simply stuff the pasta shells, cover tightly with plastic wrap and they will freeze nicely for up to three months! When you’re ready to make them, just de-thaw them in the fridge for a few hours, add your pasta sauce to the skillet and continue with the recipe as instructed.
And before you dive into this delicious cheesy dish, allow me to impart some important words of wisdom to you – life is all about a healthy (yet realistic) balance and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with a big bowl of pasta!
27 (9 oz) jumbo pasta shells
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 large carrots, shredded
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups pasta sauce (24 oz)
Cook pasta shells according to the package instructions, drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
While pasta is boiling, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion, garlic, carrots and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and saute an additional minute until all combined and transfer spinach mixture into a large bowl.
Stir in ricotta cheese, about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan (the remaining cheese will be used at the end) then add salt and mix until completely combined.
Pour pasta sauce into the skillet then fill each shell with 2 heaping tablespoons of veggie mixture.
Arrange stuffed shells in the skillet, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through. Top with remaining cheese and serve.