These Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage are a great way to use that delicious zucchini that’s so bountiful this time of the year. Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini, smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!
It’s not likely to ever be easy to get my kids to eat their vegetables. They love salad, and a few other raw vegetables, but the cooked ones they often turn down their noses at. That’s why I love being able to sneak some extra veggies in there when I can.
My kids loved these Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells so much that it left me wanting to make more recipes like it. I had a ton of zucchini from the Farmer’s Market and I love adding fresh zucchini to Italian dishes, like these Lasagna Roll Ups (with hidden veggies) so I knew I’d be able to pull it off in these Stuffed Shells.
I combined the shredded zucchini with some Ricotta cheese, Parmesan and an egg.
After stuffing that yummy mixture into the pasta shells, I topped them with some Italian sausage and spaghetti sauce. You could use sweet or spicy, depending on your personal preference.
Finally they get a nice coating of fresh Mozzarella cheese before they are baked in the oven. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, which makes this a perfect weeknight recipe. Plus, add a nice salad and dinner is done!
Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage
Yield 6 -8 servings
- 25 large pasta shells, cooked to package instructions
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 pound Italian Sausage
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
- fresh parsley, for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling into very small pieces. Drain grease from the sausage and stir in the spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer until ready to use.
- Grate the zucchini using a cheese grater or food processor. Gather up shredded zucchini into a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine Ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold in zucchini.
- Spoon half of the spaghetti sauce with the sausage into the preparred baking dish, spreading around to coat the bottom of the dish.
- Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, fill pasta shells with the zucchini/cheese mixture. Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish on top of the sauce.
- Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle with the grated Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the 350 degree oven for 15-30 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, if desired.
For more easy weeknight dinners, try these:
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