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Pepperoni Pasta Bake

It looks like your usual stuffed shells, but hidden under the cheese, pepperoni, and marinara is an ingredient that may surprise you. It's your secret to tell. Or not.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Everyday Food, October 2012


  • 2 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta (20 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 3 cups marinara, divided
  • 28 jumbo pasta shells (7 ounces total), cooked according to package instructions
  • 26 small pepperoni slices (2 ounces total)
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella (3 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, zucchini, basil, and egg; season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup marinara in a 9-by-13-inch broiler-proof baking dish. Fill each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture and arrange in an even layer in dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara, then pepperoni and mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, remove foil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Top with additional basil and serve.

Cook's Note

Zucchini gives this dish freshness, lightness, and a green vegetable. Because it's grated instead of chopped, the addition won't make the end result too watery.

Reviews (4)

  • Pellegrino500 7 Nov, 2012

    Wonderfully easy recipe to use. Kept all ingredients as listed, but made manicotti instead of shells. The pepperoni gave the marinara a bit of a spicy bite (I used turkey pepperoni) which we liked a lot. Adding zucchini was a welcome addition, and gave the ricotta texture without adding an overly pungent zucchini taste (not my favorite). A+++ Martha, a hit at our house!

  • LexieLou137 6 Nov, 2012

    I gave this 4 stars because only 2 out of 3 kids like it. The only thing I modified was to make 1/2 with and 1/2 without pepperoni because with is a bit spicy. You could probably add more zucchini too. I couldn't taste it at all.

  • KT556 26 Oct, 2012

    Per serv (makes 4): 694 cal; 28 g fat; 39 g protein; 72 g carb; 3 g fiber -- IN THE INTRO E-MAIL . . .


  • egardenut 26 Oct, 2012

    This is so yummy. I did use less ricotta (it comes in a 15 oz. container) and also some frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) along with the zucchini. And I used turkey pepperoni. I wish the recipes had nutrition information, though. How about it, Martha?

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