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Stuffed Shells

Photo: Oxmoor House
Total time 1 hr, 13 mins
Yield Serves 9 (serving size: 4 stuffed shells and 1/3 cup sauce)
What an American classic! Stuffed shells are a bit more involved than a simple pasta dish, but at the same time, a lot less fussy than homemade lasagna. This vegetarian version is packed with flavorful vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach. Even though they're lighter, these shells will fill you up.


  • 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (3 cups)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
  • 1 (24.5-ounce) jar lower-sodium marinara sauce, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 384
  • fat 14 g
  • satfat 7.2 g
  • monofat 4.5 g
  • polyfat 2 g
  • protein 24.1 g
  • carbohydrate 40.1 g
  • fiber 3.3 g
  • cholesterol 43 mg
  • iron 3.2 mg
  • sodium 603 mg
  • calcium 549 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

  3. While pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini and mushrooms; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and salt; cover, and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove pan from heat; cool 10 minutes.

  4. Combine basil, next 4 ingredients (through ricotta cheese), and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese in a large bowl; stir in vegetable mixture.

  5. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into shells. Place shells on top of sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover with a sheet of foil coated with cooking spray, coated side down.

  6. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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