A pretty veggie tray alternative, salad stuffed shells make an impressive presentation and can be customized with whatever type of salad you choose.
My youngest son is known for having an adult palate for eating and is very adventurous on most occasions. Except when it comes to simple tossed green salads. Ryan usually picks out the vegetables he likes and will leave most of the lettuce and tomatoes behind. He will however, devour these salad stuffed shells. The presentation must be the hook and I’ve fooled him into not making the connection that these are shells stuffed with “salad”. Plus they just look pretty darn cool.
What a great alternative these are to the usual “veggie tray”. Change up the stuffing ingredients to suit your party’s theme, the time of year, or your personal taste. Think of using this idea to offer a combination of shells stuffed with egg salad, chicken salad and crab or seafood salad at a luncheon.
Why not include these at your appetizer table where you’d like to offer a salad option but want to keep everything finger-food simple? To personalize this recipe even more, leave off the salad dressing but offer multiple dressings on the side for your guests or family to drizzle on top.
Have a favorite pasta salad recipe? Mix together all the ingredients except the pasta and stuff into the shells!
Salad Stuffed Shells
- 18 jumbo pasta shells
- 5 slices salami, sliced
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, or baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
- ¾ cup chopped red onion
- 20 Black olives, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus tips, blanched
- ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ cup salad dressing of your choice, plus extra for drizzling or to taste
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or Feta crumbles, plus extra to sprinkle on top
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool in refrigerator while preparing salad.
- In a bowl, combine sliced salami 4 cups romaine, 1 cup tomatoes, ¾ cup onion, 20 olives, 1 bunch asparagus tip, ¼ cup frozen peas, 1 avocado, and ½ cup salad dressing and toss.
- Stuff the shells, arrange on platter and provide extra dressing to spoon over shells or drizzle more over the top. Sprinkle extra cheese over shells, if desired.
This was AMAZING! Pleased the entire family for supper.
Raving reviews by all!
tawny s says
I think I’ve only made one other pasta salad in my life, but this was SOOOOOO yummy! And all my girls loved it! Highly recommended.
Sally Humeniuk says
Thanks, Tawny! These are a kids’ favorite in my family, too. 🙂
jaclyn k says
SO YUMMY!!!!!! I swapped the asparagus for broccoli. Thanks for sharing Sally, it was loved by everyone.
penny s says
I decided to make these last night. Was so tasty and unique from the usual salad. I used finely chopped tomato, black olives and spinach with zesty Italian dressing. DELICIOUS!
cindy gray says
Great idea! A fun and delicious way to serve salad. I too, served them in a deviled egg tray for a nice presentation.
This is for Vickie: I have made pasta and what I don’t plan to use at the moment I rinse in cold water and drain and store in an airtight container. They have never discolored or stuck together by removing the excess starch
These are a hit every time. I do suggest you lay barley damp paper towels over these after making and before serving. The pasta shells do dry up and darken a bit.
Michelle Taylor says
Meant to give it a rating even though I haven’t tried it I can tell by reading a recipe if I’m going to like it and if it’s going to taste good!
Michelle Taylor says
What an incredible idea! The sky REALLY IS the limit on what you could put on these. When preparing you could just have a bunch of custard cups with different ingredients of what your family likes and then have some paper bowls to mix up small batches for each family member or just different ones so guests can have an option. My kids don’t eat onions or tomatoes but most adults do,especially ME! Also I think it would be cool to serve as the salad option to go with Eggplant Parmesan (my favorite food of all time! ) or Veal/Chicken Parmesan. For my kids who are so picky I could fill them with Genoa salami chunks,cheese chunks, blanched peas, sweet corn, bacon, & Yellow squash and they would love it. Only problem my son doesn’t eat salad so no dressing either? Think I could get away with a small amount of mayo? He eats it on his sandwiches? My daughter at least eats Italian dressing. Any other suggestions? I have a great Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing recipe I got from my mom who got it from a former popular mid-fancy restaurant ( we went there for prom in the 70’s ) that is now closed down. You could put some romaine, Shredded Parmesan Cheese, minced garlic and green onion if you like then toss in dressing and top with some mini homemade croutons and a little more shredded Parmesan! Would go great with an Italian Meal of a Ribeye and baked potatoes!
You could always fill these and leave the salad dressing off to accommodate your son who doesn’t like it and using your great idea of the custard cups with individual ingredients, have two or three salad dressing options instead. That way, he could forego the dressing but everyone else could customize and add their favorite. Especially if one of the options the Creamy Caesar Salad dressing recipe that you mentioned!
I’m glad you liked this idea and you are correct, customizing the shells is limitless. Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!
Di, thank you for the compliment and I’m glad many of the recipes can meet your needs. Have a great day,
Fabulous idea, so simple and I think not only for the kids……but then I am minimalist in the kitchen….that’s what I love about a lot of your recipes…they are simple, and yummy……. Cheers Di