These veggie stuffed shells are packed with hearty vegetables, creamy cheese and smothered in delicious garlic Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauce. They’re so good, even the meat eaters will be asking for seconds!
Anyone else watching the Olympics? I’m fully engaged and the channel hasn’t been changed since Friday night. Gymnastics is my absolute favorite but every sport has me in awe. I’m astounded at their talent and proud to watch my team win medals and have such a strong presence at the games.
I’ve been a fan of the Olympics from the time I was a little girl and often dreamed it would be me on that floor twisting and turning in all my country’s Glory. That dream didn’t come true but what lives on in my mind is the memories I have sitting around the tv, eating dinner with my family and the oohs and aahs heard coming from one another’s mouths as we watched in astonishment with how in-sync the swimmers were in their routines and dives.
Family dinner, above everything else, is what I want to instill in the lives of my children. It’s a time for us to all pause our lives, catch up with one another and create a tradition. It’s the one time of day where we can all come together and really be a family and spend quality time together while enjoying a meal. As each team in the Olympics is different and diverse, one thing is the same across every heritage, dinner time. We may all be diverse in our own ways but one thing we can all agree on is how important dinner time is to our heritage and preserving that for generations to come.
So today, I’ve partnered with Ragu to bring you the ultimate comfort dish using their new Homestyle pasta sauce. Just like every Olympian and family in the World, we’re rich in our family and countries values. We take pride in our heritage as Ragu does with every sauce that starts from peeling, chopping and simmering their ingredients with a special blend of herbs (basil, fennel, oregano and black pepper) to layer and build the flavor.
Veggie stuffed shells are the perfect meal for meatless Monday. It’s also one of those down home, stick to your ribs, comfort meals. It’s also great for gathering around the table and watching the Olympics, which is exactly what we did this weekend. What I love about Ragu Homesyle Pasta sauce is the variety of flavors they offer. I love garlic so this Homestyle Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce was the first pasta sauce I purchased from their new line. Usually I add extra garlic to dishes but for these veggie stuffed shells, I didn’t and wondered if I should have as soon as I placed them in the oven. Within 5 minutes, I knew I had made the right decision by not adding extra garlic. The aroma of roasted garlic was wafting throughout my whole kitchen. I couldn’t believe how amazing this jarred pasta sauce smelled. Next on my list to try is the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Mushroom Sauce. Can you imagine the smell that one is going to give off? I’m drooling just thinking about it!
This meals comes together in a snap, thanks to Ragu Homestyle Sauce, which is great because I’ve got television to watch. Now my father makes a fabulous pasta sauce but when I don’t have hours to sit in the kitchen, over a simmering pot, I turn to these new Ragu sauces. Trust me when I say this and don’t tell my dad, but these are right up there with his homemade sauce. I’ve tried many jar sauces over the years but the rich, bold flavor that comes from Ragu Homestyle Sauce cannot be matched. There’s also no artificial flavors, artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup so it’s a pasta sauce I feel good about feeding my family. And it’s ok to use a shortcut every once in a while in the kitchen. Just know Ragu didn’t take any shortcuts when making their new homestyle sauces so you can reap all the benefits at home in your own kitchen.
For the vegetables I wanted to use a variety of flavors and my garden is going crazy with lots of squash. So I used a combination of onions, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and spinach. I shredded all of the vegetables and used frozen spinach that I had thawed and drained well. I sautéed all of those together and added them to low-fat ricotta cheese and an Italian five cheese blend. And that’s all there is to the filling.
When I was grating the veggies, I cooked up the pasta shells, drained and rinsed them well so they were ready for stuffing as soon as the filling was finished. Once the pasta shells were cooled slightly, I stuffed each one with 2 tablespoons of filling and placed them onto a bed of Ragu Homestyle Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce that was in the bottom of my cast iron pan. I topped each shell with more pasta sauce and then sprinkled them with cheese and into the oven they went for 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
These veggie stuffed shells are amazing!! Even my meat loving husband was impressed and had an entire plate full. My kids had no idea there were so many vegetables in them and gobbled them right up. This dish is a new family favorite that will continue long after the Olympics are over and will definitely be a staple on Meatless Monday.
Veggie Stuffed Shells
Yield 17 shells
These veggie stuffed shells are packed with hearty vegetables, creamy cheese and smothered in delicious garlic Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauce. They're so good, even the meat eaters will be asking for seconds!
- 1 jar Ragu Homestyle Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded
- 1 cup yellow squash, shredded
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1- 10 ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
- 15 ounce low fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare jumbo pasta shells according to package direction. (I prepared the whole box in case of broken/ripped ones and had plenty of leftovers)
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add oil and saute carrots, zucchini, squash and onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cook for 1 minute and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup Italian cheese blend, Italian seasoning and fennel into vegetable mixture. Stir to combine.
- Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9" pan or large cast iron skillet (I wiped out the one I cooked the veggies in) with Ragu Homestyle Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce
- Place 2 tablespoons of the veggie and cheese mixture into each shell and place into prepared pan with sauce. Fill shells until filling is gone.
- Top shells with 1/4 cup cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
These veggie stuffed shells come together in about 20 minutes tops. Now that is my idea of a homestyle, quick comfort meal.
What does homestyle mean to you? How do you celebrate your heritage and traditions in your family?
Be sure to visit the Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauce page to learn more about the new line of Ragu Homestyle sauces and find a taste of home. Let me know in the comments which flavor you’ll try first.
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