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Veal Stuffed Shells

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Veal Stuffed Shells take the classic stuffed shell recipe and uses a cheese and veal mixture to stuff the shells. The shells are topped with a veal pasta sauce, more cheese and fresh chives. This is the perfect family meal that is packed with protein and will leave you wanting more!  

Veal Stuffed Shells with spoon.

VEAL STUFFED SHELLS

Many of you have tried my veal recipes like these Easy Veal Milanese Recipe, Veal Piccata, Easy Italian Veal Chops, Slow Cooker Veal Meatballs.

If you enjoy veal you have to give these Veal Stuffed Shells a try! 

The Ohio Beef Council and I are excited to be teaming up to bring you this delicious Stuffed Shells recipe using veal and share more information with you about cooking and eating veal.

I found it very interesting to learn that veal farmers purchase dairy calves when they weigh 100 pounds and raise them until they are about 6 months old.

Veal calves live in indoor group pens where they are protected from the weather, can socialize with other calves, and have constant access to veterinary care and fresh food and water. 

Veal is generally raised near dairy farms, which are primarily located in Midwestern states, including Ohio.

Veal calves are fed nutritionally balanced milk and grain-based diets. 

And veal is part of a healthy diet. It is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins B-6 and B-12, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, selenium and choline.

It is also extremely lean, with a 3 oz. serving containing 27 grams of protein for about 170 calories.

Veal Stuffed Shells ingredients.

WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE VEAL STUFFED SHELLS?

  • GROUND VEAL

  • MARINARA SAUCE: EITHER HOMEMADE OR STORE-BOUGHT

  • LEMON ZEST

  • EGG

  • RICOTTA CHEESE

  • MOZZARELLA CHEESE, SHREDDED

  • PARMESAN CHEESE

  • DRIED BASIL & OREGANO

  • CHIVES

  • PASTA SHELLS 

Veal Stuffed Shells on a white plate with a fork.

HOW DO I MAKE STUFFED SHELLS?

BOIL SHELLS: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the shells according to the package instructions {making sure to only cook to al dente so you are still able to stuff them, otherwise they become too soft and will break}.

COOK THE VEAL: While the shells cook heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.

Cook the veal and drain the meat. Combine half of the meat with the sauce. Set aside.

MAKE THE CHEESE MIXTURE: In a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese and egg.

Mix until combined, then stir in 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, the lemon zest, basil, oregano and the chives. Stir in the other half of the veal. Set aside.

Veal Stuffed Shells cheese mixture.

PREPARE THE SHELLS: In your baking dishes spread a thin layer of pasta sauce across the bottom.

Fill each shell with the cheese and veal mixture and arrange in a single layer in the pans.

Veal Stuffed Shells shells with cheese.

Veal Stuffed Shells with sauce.

Veal Stuffed Shells with cheese.

BAKE: Cover the shells with the remaining sauce, cover with lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for the final 10 minutes or until the shells are cooked through and tender.

Garnish with fresh chives and extra lemon zest.

Veal Stuffed Shells in a baking dish.

TIPS FOR COOKING VEAL:

  1. You don’t have to be an expert chef to create a delicious meal using veal. It can be sautéed, stir-fried, braised, stewed, grilled or broiled. 
  2. Preparation: Choosing the right method of preparation is important, but no matter how you choose to prepare veal, just remember to cook veal to 160°F – don’t overcook! The most accurate way to determine when your veal is fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. 
  3. Savor the flavor: Veal chops, roasts and steaks can be marinated in the refrigerator for up to five days with mixtures of oils, herbs and acidic ingredients, such as juices, vinegar or wine.
  4. Add flavor: Add additional flavor to your veal by applying a dry rub, marinade, breading or sauce. Bring out the best flavors with garlic, lemon peel, black pepper, fresh or dried herbs, or Italian seasoning. 
  5. Braising veal: For the best braised dishes, slowly brown the veal in a pan with oil to develop rich flavor, then cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat until fork tender.
  6. Trim the fat: Trim the fat after cooking! To preserve juiciness, leave a thin layer of fat on roasts, chops and steaks. 
  7. Pro tip: Pat veal cutlets dry with a paper towel before cooking to promote browning. 

Veal Stuffed Shells with chives.

TIPS WHEN BUYING AND STORING VEAL:

  1. When buying veal, look for a cut that is creamy pink in color with a fine-grained texture. If there is fat covering, it should be milky white. 
  2. Before buying a cut of veal, carefully check the package to ensure it’s cold, tightly wrapped and doesn’t have any punctures or tears. Don’t purchase packages that have excessive juice. 
  3. Refrigerate veal in the coldest part of the refrigerator. If you don’t plan on cooking veal within 1-2 days, freeze it to enjoy later. Don’t forget to label and date the package! 
  4. There are three safe methods for thawing frozen veal: In the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Click here to learn how long thawing will take for each method. 

Veal Stuffed Shells with logo.

OTHER PASTA RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

SPICY SAUSAGE PASTA

ITALIAN SAUSAGE BAKE

ITALIAN SAUSAGE PASTA

LEMON PASTA

STUFFED SHELLS 

Veal Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Veal Stuffed Shells take the classic stuffed shell recipe and uses a cheese and veal mixture to stuff the shells. The shells are topped with a veal pasta sauce, more cheese and fresh chives. This is the perfect family meal that is packed with protein and will leave you wanting more! 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 - 16 ounce jar of marinara sauce {homemade or store-bought sauce works}
  • 1 pound of ground veal
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 - 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons minced chives {more for garnish}
  • 25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Oil two small or one large baking dish or use non-stick baking dishes. Set aside.
    3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the shells according to the package instructions {making sure to only cook to al dente so you are still able to stuff them, otherwise they become too soft and will break}.
    4. While the shells cook heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet.
    5. Cook the veal and drain the meat. Combine half of the meat with the sauce. Set aside.
    6. In a large bowl combine the ricotta cheese and egg.
    7. Mix until combined, then stir in 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, the lemon zest, basil, oregano and the chives. Stir in the other half of the veal. Set aside.
    8. In your baking dishes spread a thin layer of pasta sauce across the bottom.
    9. Fill each shell with the cheese and veal mixture and arrange in a single layer in the pans.
    10. Cover the shells with the remaining sauce, cover with lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for the final 10 minutes or until the shells are cooked through and tender.
    11. Garnish with fresh chives and extra lemon zest.

Notes

Be careful how long you cook the shells; if you overcook them they will tear apart when you try to fill them and if you under cook them they will be too chewy. You want them to be tender, like you could eat them but not overcooked.


If chives aren't your thing feel free to omit or add a different herb in its place. That is same for the lemon zest-feel free to leave that out as well if you like.

Today’s post is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. As always, opinions are 100% my own.

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