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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Vegetable Stuffed Shells

20 MINPrep Time
90 MINCook Time
by Giada De Laurentiis
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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Shell pasta, known as conchiglie in Italian, is a great vehicle for pretty much any kind of filling. In this recipe, I loaded the shells with vegetables and lentils along with some cheese to make a deliciously hearty, but still plant-based dinner to enjoy in the new year. Plus, in Italian culture, eating lentils in the new year is known to bring good luck, especially prosperity and wealth - so it's a win win!

Vegetable Stuffed Shells


Vegetable Stuffed Shells


Main Course



Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

90 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Vegetable Stuffed Shells


    For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed and peeled)
  • 2 28-ounce can San Marzano Style Tomatoes, crushed by hand

  • 1 carrot (halved)
  • 1 red onion (peeled and halved)
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the shells:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)

  • 1 fennel (trimmed and chopped)
  • 1 bunch broccolini (trimmed and finely chopped)
  • 1 cup cooked french lentils
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 20 jumbo shells


  1. Heat a medium dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and garlic and cook until the garlic fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and nestle in the carrots, red onion and basil sprigs. Bring to a steady simmer and adjust the heat to maintain the simmer. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally or until reduced by a half and the carrots are soft all the way through. Remove the onions, basil and carrots and discard. Stir in the remaining oil and salt. Using a stick blender, puree to desired consistency. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of sauce
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt. Add the shells (cook a few extra in case some tear) and cook for 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan followed by the shallot and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring often or until soft and fragrant. Add the fennel, broccolini and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until the fennel and broccolini are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the lentils. Cool slightly. Stir in the ricotta, oregano, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Spoon 3 cups of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Divide the filling among 20 shells and nestle them into the sauce. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 cup sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.



Nutrition Serving Size
per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
38 grams
17 grams
26 grams
Saturated Fat
9 grams
43 milligrams
803 milligrams
5 grams
9 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Lee Towle - Jun 09

    I made this tonight, it was FANTASTIC! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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