If you ever wanted to try a baked shell recipe, Patty Millay of Owensboro, KY, has a great one for you. For this particular recipe, Patty ditched the meat (though you could easily add a protein if you wanted) and let the veggies be the stars of the show. Here's her recipe for Stuffed Veggie Shells.

From Patty:

Looking for a hearty dish for Meatless Monday or a terrific side dish that will wow a crowd?  If you are this will be a unique and immediate hit for you!  Vegetarian stuffed shells; made with roasted peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and spinach in a cheesy red sauce!

Here's the 'before' photo!

Patty Millay
Patty Millay


Here's what you'll need.

SHELLS- Patty says you’ll need large/jumbo shells for this particular recipe.

CHEESE- Patty recommends getting fresh and premium Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. They'll be used for the filling and melting over top the shells.

MARINARA- Patty recommends using a premium brand of marinara sauce. She says you can make you're own if you're feeling frisky, but she doesn't mind the shortcut of a store-bought brand.

FRESH HERBS- Patty recommends using fresh basil and oregano. She used what she had available which was a standard Italian seasoning, which worked great.

VEGETABLES- For the filling, Patty chose carrots, cauliflower, baby peppers (for some added sweetness),and spinach.  Patty adds that can use any veggie you love for this recipe.

GARLIC- Patty used garlic to sauté with the spinach! She also added sun-dried tomatoes.


First, preheat the oven to 425F and roast carrot sticks, baby peppers, and cauliflower for 20 minutes with 2 teaspoons of oil and a sprinkle of salt.

While the veggies roast, cook the shells as the packaging instructs until al dente in texture. Patty warns against overcooking the shells because they will rip apart if they're "too done." Remove and let sit in a shallow dish with a little water to prevent them from sticking together.

In a saucepan, cook minced garlic in 1 teaspoon of oil for 30 seconds, then add spinach and cook with garlic until the spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Remove roasted vegetables and let them cool briefly.  Remove the stems from the peppers and chop all the veggies into small pieces.

In a bowl, combine cooked spinach, chopped roasted veggies, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, chopped basil & oregano, and 1/3 cup marinara sauce. Mix together.

Add 1 1/2 cups of marinara to a large casserole baking dish. Then fill cooked shells with veggie filling and arrange in baking dish.  Spoon additional marinara over each stuffed shell and cover with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 400F.

The AFTER pic!

Patty Millay
Patty Millay
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