Entrees/ Recipes

Asparagus Stuffed Shells Recipe By Oh My Veggies.com

Asparagus Stuffed Shells

Asparagus Stuffed Shells

With asparagus season in full swing, I’m often trying to find ways to incorporate this wonderful springtime vegetable into as many meals as possible. While it is fantastic as a side (which is something that happens a lot at our house), I really love working it into a main dish and giving it the focus it deserves!

These asparagus stuffed shells are one way to do just that. While a touch of mushrooms and spinach are also included, the asparagus is really the main focus. It’s cooked until crisp-tender in a skillet, before being stuffed into the pasta shells. After baking, it retains just a bit of crunch, allowing it to really stand out.

One of my other favorite parts about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time. You can fully assemble the dish as instructed in the recipe below, cover with foil and then keep in your refrigerator until you are ready to bake (add a few minutes to the baking time until it is heated through). Added bonus? These also freeze well!

Asparagus Stuffed Shells

When you’re cooking the jumbo pasta shells in the water, be very careful not to overcook them. I like to err on the side of just slightly undercooked, so that they don’t get mushy while baking. They are also much easier to stuff if you cook them to al dente.

One other tip for the shells – I always cook a few extra when making a dish like this. Inevitably a few break on me either while cooking in the water or if I’m not being gentle enough when stuffing them with the filling. If you make a few extra, you won’t end up short.

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Asparagus Stuffed Shells

Asparagus Stuffed Shells

4 from 1 reviews

Springtime stuffed shells filled with asparagus, mushrooms, spinach and creamy ricotta cheese.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cook the pasta shells al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, then rinse with cold water.
  3. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the asparagus and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released most of their juices and the asparagus is crisp tender. Remove from the heat. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl using a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the spinach, ricotta, salt, pepper, basil and parsley to the large bowl. Mix until combined, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Fold in the egg.
  5. Spread 1 ½ cups of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Scoop an equal amount of filling into each of the pasta shells (they will be generously filled), being gentle so they don’t break. Place the filled shells in the prepared baking dish in a single layer. Pour the remaining marinara sauce evenly over the top of the shells, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with the fresh parsley if desired and serve.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Anna
    April 6, 2015 at 10:13 am

    yumm!!! these look delicious I love aspargus

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    April 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I LOVE the addition of asparagus to these! Yum 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      April 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Hannah! I can’t get enough of asparagus right now!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    April 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Stuffed shells are the best, especially because they can be made ahead of time and are fancy enough to serve to guests. I love the idea to add asparagus to them. So creative!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      April 7, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Exactly! I love anything that can be made in advance! Thanks Sarah!

  • Reply
    marcie
    April 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I absolutely love the idea of adding asparagus to stuffed shells, and I with this was my dinner tonight! These I gotta try…pinned. 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      April 7, 2015 at 9:34 am

      haha thanks Marcie! I wish I had some left too 🙂

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    April 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Yay for asparagus – a sign that spring has finally sprung!

  • Reply
    Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen}
    April 7, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Oh my goodness, SWOON! This looks so delicious 🙂

  • Reply
    Holly Waterfall
    April 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I love stuffed shells! Not sure why I never thought to add asparagus, one of my favorite vegetables. I will definitely be making this one!

    • Reply
      Ashley Jennings
      April 7, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Thanks Holly! Me too – I love stuffed shells and need to remember to make them more often!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    April 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

    This fabulous cheesy pasta has my stomach growling!!

  • Reply
    Gwendolyn
    April 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Very easy and very good. I used an arrabbiatti pasta sauce because we like it spicy and it was a wonderful dinner.

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