I love pasta dishes but they aren't very healthy. Since I've been on a healthy eating kick I've been eating a lot of zoodles to help curb my pasta cravings. It isn't quite the same but it's good and it saves me from eating a ton of pasta.
My problem with pasta is that once I start eating it I don't stop. I love it and I always tend to over eat it. My go to dinner when I'm home by myself is buttered noodles with Parmesan cheese because it's warm, comforting, and I like it.
So when I was looking for a pasta dish that was healthier I didn't find what I wanted. So I went searching my own house for something to make. I had a box of shells in the basements and thought that if I could stuff them healthier then I normally do maybe I could cut the calories and fat.
I knew that in order to make them healthier I was going to have to add in a lot of vegetables. Vegetables are healthy and low in both fat and calories. I poured in the vegetables and mixed them with low fat ricotta cheese and then stuffed the shells with that. I also cut the amount of cheese I normally put on top of shells by half.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the shells tasted and how filling they were. They were full of vitamins and nutrients but tasted great. These shells were just what I needed to curb with pasta craving.
- 30 Jumbo pasta shells
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, minced
- ½ c. broccoli, chopped
- 6 oz. spinach, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 c. low fat ricotta cheese
- ¼ c. Parmesan cheese
- 4 c. pasta sauce
- 1 c. mozzarella cheese
- Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and set the shells on a cookie sheet.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, pepper, onion, and broccoli to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and garlic and cook for 5 additional minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour the vegetables into a large bowl and add in the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Put 2 tablespoons of the cheese and vegetable mix inside each shell and place it in the pan.
- Pour the remaining sauce over top of the shells and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 additional minutes.
- Remove from oven and enjoy.