These Stuffed Shells with Spinach are a healthy vegetarian make-ahead casserole for meal-prep or to serve to company.
9 ounces jumbo shells pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped red onion
1 5-ounce box baby spinach
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
7 ounces extra-firm tofu (not silken)
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups tomato basil sauce, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
1 ½ cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (6 oz)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add shells and cook for 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring often until softened and browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and Italian seasoning until the spinach is wilted and remove from the heat.
- Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Crush tofu into crumbles over more paper towels into small chunks and pat dry again. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add ricotta, egg, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the tofu and stir to combine. Add the spinach mixture and stir again.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup tomato sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Taking one shell at a time into hand, spoon spinach filling into the shell (about 2 tablespoons per shell.) Set the shell into the casserole. Continue stuffing shells using all of the filling, and arranging them, filling side up. Pour the remaining 1 ½ cups sauce over the shells. Top with basil and then mozzarella.
- Bake until the sauce is bubbling, the shells are hot all the way through and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with additional basil and Parmesan if desired, and serve.
Make Ahead: Do not preheat oven in step 5. Assemble the shells as directed. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered until hot all the way through, about 35 minutes. Then remove foil and continue baking as directed until the shells are steaming hot, the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes longer.
To Freeze Ahead: To do so, first make sure you have a casserole dish that allows you to go from freezer to oven. Then prepare the shells through step 6. Wrap the entire casserole dish twice with plastic wrap. Then wrap on top with foil. Freeze for up to one month. To reheat: remove the plastic wrap and then cover the casserole dish with foil. Transfer directly to the oven and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1/6 casserole (about 3 to 4 shells)
- Calories: 446
- Fat: 18 grams
- Saturated Fat: 8 grams
- Carbohydrates: 49 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 28 grams