A delicious meatless meal perfect for serving during Lent. A cheesy filling combined with the sweet, earthy flavor of broccoli, stuffed into large pasta shells and smothered in a creamy sauce. Then, it is baked until the cheeses melt and the flavors blend together. Serve with a salad and garlic toast for a complete meal.
This is a very cheesy dish, it uses three different types of cheeses along with a cheesy alfredo sauce.
▪ Egg – this recipe requires one large beaten egg.
▪ Mozzarella Cheese – mozzarella melts well because it is a soft cheese, but it’s quite messy when you try shredding it yourself, so buy it already shredded.
▪ Alfredo Sauce – homemade is the best, but if you are limited on time a 15 ounce jar is all you’ll need.
▪ Ricotta Cheese – is a creamy, white cheese with a bit of a sweet flavor. The softness makes it perfect for binding the other cheese and herbs together, this makes it easier to fill the pasta shells.
▪ Parmesan Cheese (grated) – I like to use fresh Parmesan cheese, but in a pinch you can you the shelf-version, it just doesn’t melt as well.
▪ Broccoli – a frozen, 12 ounce bag of broccoli florets.
▪ Jumbo Pasta Shells (24)
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI ALFREDO STUFFED SHELLS
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for half of the time on the package, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl mix together the egg, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Add broccoli and mix well.
Coat the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce. Fill shells with the broccoli mixture and place filling side up in the baking dish. Cover the filled shells with the remaining Alfredo sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
If meatless isn’t your thing, you can try adding some browned sweet Italian sausage or some cooked chicken to the filling. You can also experiment with the different cheeses, fillings and herbs.
MAKE IT A MEAL
HOW TO STORE/REHEAT LEFTOVERS
To store the leftovers, place the stuffed shells in an airtight container or resealable plastic bags. They will keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.
To reheat in the oven, place in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
To reheat in the microwave, place a single serving in a covered microwave-safe dish. Cook on medium power for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, then cook in 15-second increments until warmed throughout.
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Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
- 10 ounces frozen chopped broccoli thawed
- 2 cups alfredo sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for half of the time on the package, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a large bowl mix together the egg, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese. Add broccoli and mix well.
- Coat the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce. Fill shells with the broccoli mixture and place filling side up in the baking dish. Cover the filled shells with the remaining Alfredo sauce.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Overcooked pasta becomes very mushy, tears easily and is harder to fill.
- To avoid the shells from sticking together, drain, then cool on a baking sheet.
- For easy handling, make sure that the shells are completely cool before filling.
- For a creamier filling, drain the ricotta cheese before using. The more excess whey that you can remove the creamer the filling will become.
- When you purchase the alfredo sauce choose one that has simple ingredients and a great flavor, If you are feeling ambitious, try making a homemade alfredo sauce.
- Double the recipe and freeze for another meal.
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