Kale Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I really love kale in just about everything. It's super simple to saute in olive oil and garlic w/ a spritz of lemon juice for a side, awesome to puree into a homemade smoothie, a perfect addition to raw frozen pies, and amazing to crisp up in the oven like crunchy potato chips. It's actually really neutral in flavor so it doesn't give off a strong spinach vibe. I love this recipe because it's easy to make, healthy, and most importantly tastes really great. 

To make these stuffed shells I used a simple homemade tomato sauce that I make a lot. It's really versatile and you can easily make a double batch of the sauce to use for a number of other recipes. If you want to make this even easier you could always use canned prepared tomato sauce, but just make sure it's something with a mild flavor.

Want to make this recipe even simpler?? Just use a good prepared tomato sauce like I said (but it's sooo easy to make it homemade) and two 10 ounce packages of frozen, thawed, and drained spinach. You could have it in the oven in 15 minutes!!

P.S. I calculated this out to be a little over 300 calories for 4 shells. 

Kale Ricotta Stuffed Shells

1 tbl olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, divided
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes pureed)
1 large bunch kale, chopped and steamed (about 2 cups)
15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Parmesan, divided
salt and pepper to taste
24 jumbo pasta shells, freshly cooked

In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 3 cloves worth of the minced garlic and stir briefly to disperse. Add 1/8 tsp of the red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add the crushed or pureed tomatoes, lower the heat to low, and let simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the drained chopped kale, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, and remaining 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes to a large bowl. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9x13" baking dish. Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the pan in a single layer. Cover with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan chese. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

Source: Sarah Cupcake original.

4 Response to Kale Ricotta Stuffed Shells

April 2, 2012 at 5:20 AM

These look so good. I would have never thought to put kale in the stuffed shells- it sounds delish!

April 2, 2012 at 7:49 AM

These look so tempting. And I like your suggestion of using frozen spinach instead. Quick, easy and delicious!

April 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I love the idea of using kale instead of spinach in such a classic dish. Wonderful!

August 15, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Yummy ricotta! It makes me wanna go home and try this soon! I better buy gourmet hot chili sauce and try this out for my family.

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