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In this healthy stuffed shells recipe, tons of dark leafy chard replaces some of the cheese. Kale and/or collards are good substitutes for the chard as well. Serve with a salad with Italian vinaigrette.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2015


Recipe Summary

1 hr 45 mins


Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Shells


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare sauce: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, water, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in basil. Set aside.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  • To prepare shells: Cook shells in boiling water until not quite tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Dry the pot.

  • Rinse chard well and thoroughly pat dry with a clean towel. Separate the leaves from the stems. Thinly slice the leaves and dice the stems; keep separate.

  • Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chard stems, ham and shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the chard leaves and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in vinegar and pepper; let stand, stirring occasionally, until cooled slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in ricotta and Parmesan.

  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce; spread the remaining sauce in a 9-by-13-inch pan (or similar-size 3-quart baking dish). Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of filling; place in the pan. Spoon the reserved sauce over the shells. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and tightly cover the pan, sprayed-side down.

  • Bake until the filling is steaming and the sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6; refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Nutrition Facts

3 shells
257 calories; protein 12.5g; carbohydrates 24.9g; dietary fiber 2.8g; sugars 4.3g; fat 11.9g; saturated fat 3.6g; cholesterol 20.3mg; vitamin a iu 3968.9IU; vitamin c 31.9mg; folate 66.3mcg; calcium 189.4mg; iron 2.8mg; magnesium 66mg; potassium 448.9mg; sodium 652.2mg; thiamin 0.3mg.

1 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 1/2 fat