Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

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!

Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - 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.

Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!

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.

Zucchini Stuffed Shells 1 Zucchini Stuffed Shells 2 Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!

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.

Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!

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 Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner! Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!

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A pan of stuffed pasta shells

Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 -8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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 ½ 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:

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells - Creamy and Rich Pasta dish with a homemade simple Alfredo sauce, chicken Italian cheeses and Ricotta

Parmesan Ranch Baked Chicken

https://www.yellowblissroad.com/parmesan-ranch-baked-chicken/

Chicken & Black Bean Oven Baked Tacos

Chicken & Black Bean Oven Baked Tacos - so quick and easy they are perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

Creamy 4-Cheese Spaghetti

Creamy Four Cheese Spaghetti that's ready in 20 minutes! This is a fantastic and easy meal perfect for busy weeknights!

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Zucchini Stuffed Shells with Sausage - Tender pasta shells filled with Ricotta and mozzarella cheese and shredded zucchini. Smothered in a rich sausage marinara. Such an elegant weeknight dinner!

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I am gluten free and wasn’t able to find any large GF shells. Will layering with another style of noodle work with this recipe?

    1. Because you are stuffing the shells, you would really need a large shell. The only thing I can think of that might also work for stuffing is manicotti. It could also work layered like a lasagna.