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.
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!
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25large pasta shellscooked to package instructions
1 1/2cupRicotta cheese
1cupfreshly grated Mozzarella cheese
1cupfreshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 24-ouncejar marinara or spaghetti sauce
fresh parsleyfor 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 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.
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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.