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About a month ago, I decided to become a “part-time” vegetarian. And all I mean by that is instead of eating meat with just about every meal, I’ve made a conscious effort to cook it only 2-3 meals a week. Three meals a week might seem like a lot but we were eating it pretty often. Whether it was bacon with breakfast, turkey on a sandwich at lunch or a slice of chicken or fish with dinner, meat proteins were definitely a huge part of our diet.

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Initially I was worried that it was going to be really difficult to 1) come up with enough satisfying meals that didn’t involve meat and 2) get my husband on board. I’m happy to report that neither were a problem. All of a sudden the veggies are becoming my main focus and we’re eating more than we ever have before. My husband doesn’t miss the heavy meals and we’re both feeling totally satisfied after dinner.

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It’s been a smooth transition thanks to meals like this one. These stuffed shells were satisfying and left us full without feeling to heavy or weighed down. The otherwise traditional ricotta filling gets some extra love from an eggplant that I roasted and added to the food processor along with an egg, basil and some parmesan cheese.

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Initially I was just going to saute some kale to stir in but ultimately decided to add some broccoli and onion as well. It was the right choice in the end because the little shells were overflowing with flavor and lots of hearty greens.

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I made the shells earlier in the day while the kids were in school and then just before dinner, I topped them with some homemade marinara that I canned last summer and a good handful of mozzarella cheese. 30 minutes in the oven and dinner was done. You can’t beat that on a busy weeknight.

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I served the shells with a green salad and garlic bread. With a hefty glass of red wine, I was a happy camper. The kids, on the other hand, weren’t so keen on them. My husband was quick to fry up some bacon and heat some frozen pancakes for the little ones. As soon as he sat down at the table I knew why he was being so helpful. Somehow my husbands shells came to the table sprinkled with bacon bits……..

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23 Responses to Stuffed Shells with Eggplant, Ricotta & Greens

  1. Brooke says:

    I think it’s great that you are wanting to add more veggies as the main attraction, I think it would be great for all of us. Veggies, grains and legumes are the staple in my house and meat is a treat, we love that. Looks like a great dinner.
    P.S. I make you blender salsa weekly w/tomatoes that I canned last summer-DELISH!

    • Kelley says:

      Thanks so much for the comment! Veggies have always been a staple but seem to be an afterthought. It’s been great and such an eye opener to be making them the main dish!!

  2. omg this sounds divine! I miss you my friend! And I want to hit tennis balls with you too!

  3. Karista says:

    LOL! Kelley, I love how your husband dressed up his shells 🙂 These look divine. I’m always looking for ways to eat more veggies. Perfect!

  4. That’s exactly what my boyfriend would do, sprinkle a little bacon on it!

    These would be perfect for me just like they are, with a nice big red….

  5. Jill says:

    You know how much I love this recipe! I am sure my boys would go just as crazy for the bacon.

  6. Bev Weidner says:

    Oooohhh I love that you have EGGPLANT in this! Booya.

  7. Deborah says:

    I’ve started eating more vegetarian meals, mostly because meat is so expensive anymore!! We only go meat free 1-2 times a week, but that’s been a big step for us. This looks like the perfect meat free meal! (with or without the bacon!:))

  8. Tracy says:

    This sounds great — I’m thinking of making it for dinner tonight. Do you know if this recipe freezes OK?

  9. Alanna says:

    These look so good! Pinned it! : )

  10. These are totally delish. I’ve made them several times and am featuring them as a “cold-weather-comfort-food” on my blog today! Really fantastic, thank you!!

  11. Michelle Parrinello says:

    Can I use spinach instead of kale

  12. Elaine says:

    I’m a bit confused… Do you place all of the eggplant in the food processor or just some?

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