Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1h 18 min
8-10 servings

Cooked zucchini stands in for some of the cheese in the traditional ricotta filling, adding bulk and moisture. Other vegetables can be substituted, including sautéed mushrooms, or baked butternut squash. Enjoy 4 stuffed shells for only 339 calories.



Stuffed Shells

oz jumbo pasta shells (approximately 40 shells)
lb(s) bag baby spinach
Salt and pepper
tsp olive oil, plus extra for serving
medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
scallions, chopped
cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ½
cup shredded reduced-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Tbsp chopped parsley
cup grated Parmesan cheese
thin slice ham, chopped
Pinch grated nutmeg

Tomato Sauce

1 28
oz can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
1 14
oz can peeled plum tomatoes in juice
tsp olive oil
cup roughly chopped red onion
clove garlic, sliced thin
sprig fresh basil


Step 1

Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells, and cook partway – they should have started to become tender but will still be firm to the bite, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to the oiled baking sheet, spreading them out in a single layer so that they don’t stick together. Let cool.

Step 2

For the sauce, dump cans of tomatoes in a bowl and mash with your hands, or pulse in food processor to chop. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. (Check a few times during cooking; if vegetables begin to brown, add 2 teaspoons water and stir.) Add the tomatoes with juice, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently 5 minute. Then simmer very gently, partially covered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Scrape into another container with a rubber spatula; set aside.

Step 3

Add the spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Place over medium heat, cover, and cook, tossing every now and then with tongs for even cooking, until wilted, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, and let cool, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and chop. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

Step 4

In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring every now and then, until tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add scallions during the final 1 minute. Add to the bowl with the spinach. Add the ricotta, the ham, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the parsley, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and the nutmeg, and stir to combine.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Step 6

Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of two 9×13-inch baking dishes. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 1 tablespoon per shell, and arrange the shells side by side in a single layer in the prepared dishes. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

Step 7

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

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