Lemony Chard Stuffed Shells

This is one of my favorite veggie Italian dinners. It's got everything a great meal needs: pasta, protein, leafy greens, tomato sauce, a lemony zip... Plus, people tend to be kind of impressed by stuffed shells even though they're not very hard to make.

The last time I made these, I served them with some spaghetti squash, which was great because it goes so well with tomato sauce. This time, my grocery store was out of the squash, so I just cooked up a quick side of zucchini sauteed with lots of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some fresh basil. As you can see from the picture, it's not the most beautiful meal I've ever assembled, but it definitely hit the spot anyway.

Lemony Chard Stuffed Shells
From One Dish Vegetarian Meals
  • 12 large pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed well and coarsely chopped
  • 1 block of firm tofu, blotted dry and crumbled
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or soy Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought cans
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook the pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chard and cook until wilted, about another 5 minutes. Place this cooked mixture into a bowl and add the tofu, lemon zest and juice, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

Using a teaspoon, stuff the cooked pasta shells with the filling until well packed. Spread a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, arrange the shells on top of the sauce, and pour the remaining sauce over and around the shells.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Variations: Add 1 cup of chopped mushrooms, if you're into that kind of thing (yuck). Just add them to the pan at the same time as the chard.