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Kale Stuffed Shells

kale stuffed shells recipeMy love affair with dark greens continues. I have been putting kale, arugula, chard, and spinach in just about everything. Even my smoothies. I have really started to crave my green smoothie when I don’t have one every day. Right now my favorite blend is kale, pineapple, mint, half an avocado, and coconut water. Sometimes I drink it for breakfast, but mostly an afternoon snack. It really helps me fight that afternoon sweet craving that I get. I added finely chopped kale to the ricotta cheese in these shells and it was delicious. William loved these, and he is highly skeptical of green things in his food.

Now that school is back in session, getting dinner on the table can be a challenge. My little guy comes home from kindergarten exhausted and needing a little extra TLC. I know that he will get used to it, but for right now, it is a tough transition. The big kids have homework, practice 3 nights a week, and tons of other things throughout the week. Needless to say, it can be crazy come dinner time. A trick that I have started doing again is to get dinner started in the morning when I have some time. When I have most of dinner ready in the morning, it is not a big deal to get it finished and on the table.

This meal can be made all the way to the end, and kept in the fridge until you are ready to bake it off. While I was making it, it was the same amount of work to make two, so I put it in a container that goes from freezer to table. Ready to go for another busy night. I served this with a side salad and some whole wheat garlic bread.

kale stuffed shells recipe

2 boxes jumbo pasta shells
Homemade marinara sauce (store bought is just fine)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
3 (15-ounce) containers Sargento Light Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs
1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsely
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 packages Sargento Traditional Cut Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

kale stuffed shells recipeCook the shells according to the package directions. (I take them out 1 minute before.) Drain and set aside. Wash the kale and chop finely.

kale stuffed shell recipeHeat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and add kale. Cook until wilted. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside.

kale stuffed shells recipeStir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil.

kale stuffed shell recipeAdd cooled kale.

kale stuffed shells recipePut the ricotta filling in a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end cut off. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Stuff each shell with filling. Line the shells in the bottom of the dish.

kale stuffed shell recipeCover with sauce and top with mozzarella and additional Parmesan. I sprinkle a little oregano on top – because that is what my mom did whenever she made a baked pasta dish.

kale stuffed shell recipeCover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or when the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

kale stuffed shells recipe

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Ingredients

  • 2 boxes jumbo pasta shells
  • Homemade or store bought marinara sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 (15-ounce) containers Sargento Light Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsely
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 packages Sargento Traditonal Cut Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the shells according to the package directions. (I take them out 1 minute before.) Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and add kale. Cook until wilted. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside.
  3. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil. Add cooled kale. Put the ricotta filling in a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end cut off. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Stuff each shell with filling. Line the shells in the bottom of the dish.
  4. Cover with sauce and top with mozzarella and additional Parmesan.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and continue to bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or when the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Tieghan Gerard

    September 16th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Kale is my favorite dark green. I buy a bunch once a week. I love it’s strong texture and flavor! These shells look to die for!

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    September 16th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I love big, stuffed, shells like this! LOVELY!

  3. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Me too! These turned out really good. I hope you like them!

  4. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    September 16th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Oh man, do these look mouthwatering! Such scrumptious fall comfort food. I love the nutrient-packed kale you added, too! Great meal.

  5. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Georgia!

  6. Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen

    September 16th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I love dark greens big time! Such a great idea, adding kale into stuffed shells! Delicious & comforting dinner!

  7. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Kelli! I love them now too.

  8. Kelley

    September 16th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Oh these are SO being made immediately. Yum!

  9. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I hope so! Loved this dinner.

  10. Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King

    September 16th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Those stuffed shells are beautiful! Using kale was a genius idea.

  11. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you Mary-Clay! I thought so too.

  12. Tracy

    September 18th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Was the recipe you posted enough for 2 or do I need to double it? Thanks!

  13. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    This was enough for 2 batches, this is the recipe that I used for the photos.

  14. Glenda

    September 18th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I can’t seem to find the temperature to bake it at in the recipie. Can you please provide it?

    thanks.

  15. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Sorry! 350.

  16. Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen)

    September 19th, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I have only cooked with kale a few times but I like that it has a stronger bite to it then spinach and is thicker, too. these shells look fantastic…il have to try it out!

  17. bakedbree

    September 19th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Me too. It seems heartier.

  18. Dee Dee

    September 22nd, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Do you mean two one-pound boxes of jumbo shells? Thanks!

  19. bakedbree

    September 22nd, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Yes.

  20. Anita

    September 25th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Making this right now! I also make a 2nd batch to freeze. How long do you bake it for when frozen? And do you thaw at all or bake right from the freezer? Thanks, I can’t wait to taste it!!

  21. bakedbree

    October 2nd, 2013 at 8:20 am

    You can do it either way. If I bake from frozen, I just add another 15-20 minutes to the bake time.

  22. Jami

    September 25th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Trying these today, can I add beef to the pasta sauce — making it more friendly for my husband and kiddos… Thanks

  23. bakedbree

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Of course! Make it however you like.

  24. Jami

    September 25th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Hi its me again, I just finished making my dishes, I only needed 1 box of shells, and I added 1.5 browned burger to my sauce, this made 2 9×13 inch dishes, one for tonight and one for the freezer, looks delish! Thanks

  25. Kaliko

    January 28th, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Try as I might, I canʻt find any giant pasta shells at any of my local grocery stores. How would I need to modify to cook with smaller (medium size) shells? Thanks!

  26. bakedbree

    January 30th, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t think you would have to modify anything, just follow the package directions for cook time.

  27. Josephine

    November 2nd, 2016 at 3:32 am

    This just stopped my heart. So freaking beautiful. So freaking delicious sounding! You’re a genius!

  28. bakedbree

    November 8th, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I am so glad, you should make them!

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