Squash and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Squash and Cheese Stuffed Shells

My Mom had Stuffed Shells on the weekly rotation when I was growing up.

Squash and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Seems Ryan’s Mom had the same idea because he had stuffed shells a lot as a kid.  Anyone else out there have the same experience?  They weren’t bad, but I definitely got burned out on them.  So much so that it has been about 20 years since I last ate a stuffed shell.  But, this week changed, all that.  See how I tweaked the recipe, added flavor and lightened them up a bit.  Word to the wise, don’t skimp on the garlic!

Stuffed Shells Remade

As you can see in the video, I used a pre-made marinara sauce from my local grocery store.  But, if you’ve got a killer red sauce recipe, definitely use that.  The pasta shells are a blank canvas, and that’s the magic of stuffed shells.

I love the squash in these stuffed shells because it adds some crunch.  Too, it adds a little healthy boost, lightening up the original recipe.

Stuffed Shells

As for what to serve with it?  I say, keep it simple.  Just the pasta and a simple salad like My Family’s Caesar Salad recipe.

Hope you enjoy and happy eating!


Squash and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Squash and Cheese Stuffed Shells

An updated take on my Mom’s standard stuffed shells, loaded with fresh veggies and garlic.

  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 12 oz jumbo pasta shells, prepared according to package directions
  • 3 medium sized Summer Squash (mix of yellow and green), diced
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz ricotta
  • 8 oz shredded low moisture mozzarella (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • .66 oz fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 15 oz marinara sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add in diced summer squash and garlic. Sautee until slightly softened then set aside.
  3. Combine the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, basil, half of the sautéed squash and salt and pepper and mix until incorporated, though don’t over-mix.
  4. Scoop a tablespoon’s worth of the cheese filling and put it into a shell. Repeat with remaining filling until all shells are stuffed.
  5. Pour about 3/4 of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan and spread all over to the edges. Place stuffed shells on top of the sauce, then spread remaining sauce over the tops of the shells along with the remaining sauteed squash.
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375F for 25 minutes. Then remove the foil, top with remaining mozzarella and bake an additional 15 minutes until everything is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve hot!


Joanie Simon

I'm a pro food photographer living in Phoenix, AZ with my hubby and two little dudes. Join me on YouTube for photography and cooking tutorials.

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