Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells | Cook for Your Life
Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells, Anti-cancer Recipes - Cook for Your Life

Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 13 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 8 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 11 ingredients

These Baked Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Shells are easy to make too: stuff them, pour over some lycopene-rich Quick Tomato Sauce, sprinkle with cheese and bake. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is a cancer preventing antioxidant....


  • 1 pound kale leaves, washed and stems removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat jumbo pasta shells (see Chef Tips)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 10-ounces (1¼ cup) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup basil leaves packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated, 2 tablespoons reserved for topping
  • 4 cups Quick Tomato Sauce, or marinara sauce of choice
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
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Nutrition Facts


437 cals


18 g

Saturated Fat

10 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

6 g


46 g


7 g


5 g


25 g


1002 mg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9- by 12-inch baking tray.
  2. Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold water and ice. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the kale leaves and garlic cloves and boil for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kale leaves and garlic cloves and drop them into the prepared ice water.
  4. Bring the same pot of water to boil and add in the pasta. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes less than package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
  5. Meanwhile, drain the kale and squeeze out the excess water. Coarsely chop, then blend the chopped kale with the garlic cloves, ricotta, salt, basil leaves, egg, and parmesan cheese. Fill the pasta shells with a scant 1 tablespoon of the kale ricotta mixture and place in the prepared baking pan.
  6. Top the stuffed shells with tomato sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and the reserved Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is turning golden brown. Serve hot.

Chef Tips

This is a perfect use for any Quick Tomato Sauce stashed in the freezer. Don’t defrost, it will lose nutrients, just heat it up in a small pan before using.

Whole-wheat jumbo shells can be hard to find consistently. Since these shells are stuffed with fiber-rich kale, go ahead and make them with regular jumbo pasta shells if the whole wheat proves too hard to find.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society