I think roasting broccoli is the absolute best way to enjoy it. It was hard not to sneak bites straight from the pan before mixing them with the cheese for this Roasted Broccoli Stuffed Shells Recipe! Lately I’ve also been charring broccoli in a dry cast iron skillet, like in this recipe, which is also great if you like that charred crispy bite. Roasted or charred broccoli can be added to just about anything, grilled cheese, pasta, rice bowls, or even eggs.
As for the Stuffed Shells, they hold a special place in my heart. This time of year, two years ago, a dear friend brought us (parenting newbies) a big pan of stuffed shells. They were absolutely one of the most comforting meals we enjoyed during that season. I had never made stuffed shells before and they just seemed to hit the spot as we held our little bundle and ate together on that cool spring night years ago.
My friend’s stuffed shells were the classic style which is perfect without any change. Of course I love to put a little seasonal spin on things so for this recipe, I added plenty of crispy toasted broccoli to a mixture of three cheeses and a few seasonings.
The recipe is easy. Roast the broccoli, meanwhile mix the cheese and boil the pasta. Chop the broccoli, then fill the pasta with the cheese and broccoli. Layer the shells in-between marinara then bake until bubbly. Enjoy with extra marinara, and of course, wine and toasty bread. And if you have a tiny baby to hold, it will make this meal even more dreamy 🙂
Broccoli is almost out of season (though its available all year, it’s not always at its best!) so get this recipe in while broccoli is still at its tastiest. And if you’re looking for more early spring recipe ideas, we have plenty. See below for all of the #EatSeasonal recipes for this month. For the full list of seasonal produce, check out my seasonal produce guide or the seasonal recipe guide from Cookie and Kate.
Roasted Broccoli Stuffed Shells Recipe by Vintage Mixer
Tangy Quinoa Spring Salad Cups by Simple Bites
Curry Asparagus & Cauliflower Rice by Cookin’ Canuck
Strawberry Rhubarb Mousse with Meyer Lemon Whipped Cream by Climbing Grier Mountain
Healthy Key Lime Pie Smoothie by Bless This Mess
Roasted Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts by Well Plated
Chicken and Rice Stew with Leeks and Mushrooms by Cafe Johnsonia
Asparagus with Chive Vinaigrette by Project Domestication
Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Scones by Completely Delicious
Quinoa and Pea Shoot Salad with Cauliflower, Asparagus and Strawberries by Floating Kitchen
Garlic Mushroom Salad with Arugula and Wild Rice by Mountain Mama Cooks
Roasted Broccoli Stuffed Shells Recipe
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 16 ounces (one container) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 26 ounces (3 cups) Marinara sauce
To roast the broccoli
- preheat the oven to 375 and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Chops the broccoli into bite sized pieces and toss with olive oil and minced garlic. Season with salt and lay flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly brown and crispy.
For the pasta
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta shells (a few more than 24 incase a few break while cooking). Boil for 8-10 minutes or until slightly soft but with a slight bite. (They will cook more when they are baking).
- While the pasta is cooking, mix together the three cheeses and the salt and cayenne. Once broccoli is done, roughly chop and add this to the cheese.
- Pour 1 cup of the marinara into a rectangular baking dish.
- Once pasta is done, drain the water, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Fill each shell with cheese and place in the baking dish. Mix together 1 more cup of the marinara with the 1/2 cup of pasta water and pour this over the top of the filled shells.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 covered, then, uncover and bake for 5-10 more minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve with remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce.
Stuffed shells are one of my favorites too. My mom always made them when I was a kid. With spinach, but now I’m excited to try them with broccoli! XO
I can’t wait to try this dish! My kids love broccoli and cheese. 🙂
By the time I serve roasted broccoli, I’ve eaten half of it off the pan. Love the idea of turning into a creamy, comforting pasta!
What is it that makes roasted vegetables so tempting to eat straight off of the pan?!
Roasted broccoli always disappears quickly around here. What a great idea to tuck it into shells for a comforting dinner!
Hooray for in-season veggies!!! It’s seriously the only way to do it! love your roasted broccoli stuffed shells recipe . . gorgeous!
Thanks Alice! This recipe is very borderline Winter/Spring but sometimes those are the best 🙂 A little comfort with a lot of green!
I adore roasted broccoli, but putting it in stuffed shells take it over the top! Definitely trying this soon!
Lisa, It’s just the simple things that can make ordinary recipes be so great!!
Roasted broccoli is my favorite…I always eat so much right from the pan but hey, there are worse things 😉 I love this new twist!
I’m with you Bri!! And if you love roasted broccoli then you’ll really enjoy the flavors here!
Becky – I would completely devour these. My boyfriend isn’t a ricotta guy, but with this broccoli mixed in, he might be more keen on the idea of trying something new 😉
Love that your bf would like this for the broccoli and not the cheese. He’s a keeper!!
Love this simple vegetarian dinner, Becky! I’m with you: fresh, in-season broccoli can’t be beat!
Thanks Kelley! I think these would be good with so many different seasonal veggies mixed in but broccoli is an easy winner!
They look so delicious, will definitely try them out sometime soon. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
This looks amazing. I’m always a fan of broccoli, and adding cheeses and pasta and marinara to the mix? Yes please! I’ll definitely be trying this some evening. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Stuffed shells is a classic, I love this idea. Thanks for posting, I shared this on my May real food meal plan.
Awesome! Thanks so much Melissa!
Made this last night and really enjoyed it. I roasted the garlic cloves whole with the broccoli and added in some roasted red pepper and chopped spinach, then pulsed the filling smooth in the food processor. It was great! Thanks for sharing.
Avery, so glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the tip on roasted red pepper and spinach.. that sounds lovely and I’ll definitely have to try it out!