Hey family! It’s been a minute since I shared another pasta recipe. I was going through my cabinets and fridge trying to eat up what I have before I buy more (the struggle), and I saw a box of jumbo pasta shells in the pantry. As soon as I spotted these, I instantly knew that we’d be having Vegetarian Stuffed Shells for dinner!
I love these stuffed shells because they feel and look so fancy, even though they require the smallest effort. Sometimes I keep it vegetarian, sometimes I add Italian sausage or even make a seafood version. The best part – and y’all know I get hype over this – is they are so freezer-friendly! Normally, especially if I’m eating by myself, I make enough for about 3 meals and then freeze the rest to pull out on nights I really don’t feel like putting forth any effort on dinner.
The freezing process is really easy. Just set the stuffed shells on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer for an hour or so until they are solid. Then, add all of your frozen shells to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. When it’s time to eat, transfer straight from the freezer to a baking pan, add your sauce, and bake away!
I included a quick blurb on how to whip up some marinara sauce in a hurry, although the jarred stuff will do (if you just have to…)
Anyway, impress your family and friends with this super easy Vegetarian Stuffed Shells recipe. Serve with a side salad for some extra veggies. Let me know in the comments – what are some of your go-to dinner ideas?
Vegetarian Stuffed Shells
- 4 oz. white mushrooms finely chopped
- 6 oz. spinach chopped
- 10 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 ct. eggs large
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 20 ct. jumbo pasta shells
- Boil a large pot of water + salt until it is at a rolling boil. Add pasta shells and cook for about 2 minutes less than the directions on the package – these will fully cook in the oven.
- Once shells are done, drain and set aside. I actually blanch them with a quick ice bath to completely stop the cooking process.
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add sliced mushrooms and chopped spinach to skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are browned. The spinach will release water as it cooks down; drain any excess.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add veggies, cheeses, and seasonings (I use Italian seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder.) When the mixture tastes great, stir in your egg until fully incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Don't want to use store-bought? Quickly add either a can of crushed tomatoes or a can of tomato sauce to a small saucepot. Add a tablespoon of sugar (to cut the acidity) and season with listed seasonings above. Let simmer until flavors are incorporated fully.
- Take your cheese and veggie mixture and stuff the shells. Some people use piping bags, but I get down and dirty with a regular serving spoon and my (washed!) hands.
- Layer stuffed shells on top of the marinara sauce. If you have any remaining marinara, either cover the shells or save for dunking once everything is done!
- Bake for about 25 minutes, covered in aluminum foil. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes until the tops begin to brown and your sauce is bubbling.
- If you prefer, sprinkle a bit of parmesan on top and serve while still hot. Enjoy!
- To freeze, stuff the shells as written above and then layer on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for about an hour to ensure that they will not stick together. After an hour, remove and add to a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
- To reheat, bake frozen shells and sauce uncovered at 375°F for 30-45 minutes until fully heated through. Enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per serving: $1.54
- Total Cost (6 servings): $6.16
- Those Other Guys: $12.99 per serving