Stuffed shells are a category of Italian cuisine that might seem daunting. But, making stuffed shells is easy. It’s all about prepping the individual recipe parts. When you start assembling, everything will be ready to go.
In this recipe, creamy ricotta cheese and nutty grated parmesan are studded with canned shrimp and chopped Lacinato kale. Also known as Tuscan kale, it’s the dark blue-green, bumpy-looking leafy greens next to curly kale in the produce section. You can also find it frozen. Known for softening while cooking, this kale variety is a traditional ingredient in minestrone and other Italian favorites. The tiny shrimp in the recipe breaks into pieces while cooking, creating a creamy, cheesy filling for jumbo pasta shells.
Stuffed shells partner with this light, quick-cooking primavera sauce for an easy meal. You may also use a prepared tomato sauce. Plan for about 4 cups of sauce to make the recipe.
Stuffed Shells with Shrimp and Kale recipe
Ingredients for Stuffed Shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups Lacinato kale, from about 2/3 bunch, chopped into small pieces
- 2 cans tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 16 to 20 jumbo pasta shells
Make the Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Some shells may tear or break, so cook enough to have 16 shells to fill. Drain and place shells on a rimmed baking sheet.
Warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until essence is released, about 30 seconds.
Toss chopped kale and shrimp into pan. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until kale wilts and shrimp is broken down, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Combine ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stirring well. When cool, fold kale shrimp mixture into cheeses and incorporate. Transfer to large resealable bag. Cut off a corner of the bag and squeeze ricotta mixture into pasta shells.
Ladle four cups of primavera sauce into an oven-safe dish. Nestle shells into sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until sauce bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Any shells that don’t fit into the baking dish can be covered with plastic wrap and individually frozen on a tray. Once shells are firm, place in resealable plastic bag. Thaw and bake in tomato sauce.