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Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe

Posted April 9, 2018 by Stephanie

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe |

I’ve been on a kale kick lately. I think I pick up a bunch every time we go to the grocery store, which means that I’m basically buying a bunch of kale per day. My usual MO is just a quick sauté on high heat – I am in love with those super browned and crispy bits. I think I’d be happy eating a side of kale with every meal. But, the other day, while I was peeking into the fridge, getting ready to make my daily kale, I spotted a bunch of cooked jumbo shells left over from when I made a big batch of spinach stuffed shells. I thought to myself, why does spinach get to have all the fun and these kale stuffed shells were born!

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe |

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe |

Kale stuffed shells are essentially the same as spinach stuffed shells: a hefty amount of ricotta, mozzarella, and and egg for binding. Party aromatics – garlic, onion, crushed red pepper – get thrown in the mix and everything is stuffed into tender, giant pasta shells. Leafy greens + pasta + sauce + cheese + baking = gloriousness.

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe |

Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe
serves 4-6

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (cook a couple extra in case some of them don’t make it)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch kale (4-5 stalks), stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups ricotta
  • 1.5 cups grated mozzarella, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce or 2 cups homemade tomato sauce

Heat the oven to 400°F.

In a large frying pan or skillet, heat up the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not brown, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute then add the kale in batches and cook until wilted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.

Cook the shells according to the package, rinse and drain well.

Place the kale in a large bowl and mix with the ricotta, 3/4 cups of shredded mozzarella, and the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Spread out 1 cup of sauce in an oven-proof casserole dish and set aside. Stuff each shell with a generous amount of filling, placing the stuffed shells in the sauced dish. Top the shells with the remaining  sauce and remaining 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella.

Bake the dish for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden. Remove and let cool slightly before enjoying.

Notes: Feel free to play around with the ratio of kale to ricotta ratio – if you like a more green filling, add more kale!


  1. Kari says:

    I don’t love taking the time to properly stuff shells & make them look pretty, but every once in awhile, its so worth it!

  2. Suzanne says:

    I love that combination of ricotta and kale. So delicious.

  3. Karen says:

    I love this! I’m always on a kale kick, even when it wasn’t trendy. Once upon a time my local grocery store didn’t even have kale in the produce section. I had to go ask for it at the meat counter where they used it as a GARNISH for steak, lol.

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