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Roasted Fennel and Ricotta Baked Stuffed Shells

These roasted fennel and ricotta baked stuffed shells embody comfort with their flavorful lemon cream sauce, roasted fennel, ricotta and cheesy topping. If you are looking for a great stuffed shell recipe that is meatless and delicious, then this recipe is for you!

The stuffed shells are a great little pocket for this roasted fennel and ricotta filling, offering the perfect little bite. However, this recipe could also be made with manicotti noodles or layered in-between lasagna noodles for a delicious lasagna variation.

The fennel in this recipe is roasted or sautéed. To roast fennel, I dice it and then drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper then bake for ~30 minutes on 400 F.. It can also be air fried on 400 F. for ~15 minutes. If you decide to sauté it, simply dice it, sauté in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, cook until it is softened.

Here is what you need to make these fennel, lemon and ricotta baked stuffed shells: (printable recipe card below)

Serves 4-6

  • 8 ounces large shells

For the filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon – zested
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic – minced
  • 1 cup roasted or sautéed fennel bulb – diced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • pinch of salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic – minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • Parmesan on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Boil shells in salted water according to package directions until they are al dente, drain but leave a little water in the pot to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  3. In a bowl, add ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, fennel, parmesan cheese and salt then stir together and set aside.
  4. In a sauce pan, add olive oil, butter and garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant then add milk and bring to a simmer.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water then stir into the milk mixture.
  6. Add the salt, parmesan cheese and lemon juice as the sauce simmers and thickens.
  7. When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
  8. In a baking dish, add some of the sauce on the bottom and then begin filling the shells with the ricotta mixture and laying the shells onto the sauce in the baking dish.
  9. Once all of the filling is used, add the rest of the sauce on top of the shells, followed by mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, serve and enjoy.

Here are a few other recipes you may also enjoy:

Cheesy Ranch Dressing Chicken Baked Shells Pasta Recipe
Roasted Fennel and Sundried Tomato Pasta
Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta

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Roasted Fennel and Ricotta Baked Stuffed Shells

These roasted fennel and ricotta baked stuffed shells embody comfort with their flavorful lemon cream sauce, roasted fennel, ricotta and cheesy topping.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, pasta
Keyword: cheese, fennel, Lemon, pasta, ricotta
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces large shells cooked to al dente

For the filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon – zested
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 cup roasted or sautéed fennel bulb diced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • pinch of salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • Parmesan on top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Boil shells in salted water according to package directions until they are al dente, drain but leave a little water in the pot to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  • In a bowl, add ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, fennel, parmesan cheese and salt then stir together and set aside.
  • In a sauce pan, add olive oil, butter and garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant then add milk and bring to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water then stir into the milk mixture.
  • Add the salt, parmesan cheese and lemon juice as the sauce simmers and thickens.
  • When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a baking dish, add some of the sauce on the bottom and then begin filling the shells with the ricotta mixture and laying the shells onto the sauce in the baking dish.
  • Once all of the filling is used, add the rest of the sauce on top of the shells, followed by mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, serve and enjoy.