Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Last year, we decided to sign up for a food delivery service that unfortunately ended up stopping services since the family who ran it moved to Michigan. I was so disappointed, but am excited to announce that we have found another possible CSA option in our area. This one includes beer! The great thing about a CSA or food delivery service is that it gets you to try new things. I really don’t know how my mom fed us for all those years growing up because we were annoyingly picky. Since I have grown out of that picky stage, my taste buds are always looking for things that I have missed out on trying.

I was intrigued last summer when I found out that we were getting kale in our first produce box, I had no idea what it would taste like or what to do with it. Luckily, I found this great Spicy Kale Lasagna that Blair & I really enjoy. I am always on the lookout for new recipes that use kale since I kind of love it now. When I pinned this recipe a few months ago, I added it to my meatless board since I made it a goal to go meatless once a week. We absolutely loved this meal and it made some great leftovers as well. You basically have a basic stuffed shell recipe, but you are upping the ante with some nutritious kale. I was able to get these together before Zumba and Blair popped them in the oven when he got home. I am really excited about trying out this new CSA, is anyone else joining one this coming season?

Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells


  • 16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 9-ounce bunch kale, center ribs trimmed out
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15 ounces part-skim Ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for the top, divided)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian blend herbs (or use dried basil)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 25-30 ounces of tomato sauce


Cook the pasta shells and the kale: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions. Remove the cooked shells to a clean kitchen towel. Bring water back to a boil and add the kale leaves. Blanch for three minutes. Remove the leaves to a bowl of ice water. When the kale is cold, drain, squeeze dry in paper towels. Chop the kale into small pieces and set aside.

Make the filling: In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until its soft and transparent. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds. Add the chopped kale. Place in a medium bowl and mix in ricotta and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, egg, herbs, and seasonings.

Fill shells and bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about a 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish. Place about two tablespoons of filling in each shell. Place filled shells on top of the sauce. Top the shells with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

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