Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheese. Topped with marinara and baked until tender and gooey. Served with fresh basil! This dinner is ready in 45 minutes or less and is vegetarian!

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells | chefsavvy.com

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite meals to make. Tender pasta shells stuffed with cheese and baked with pasta sauce until warm and gooey. To me they are comfort food at it’s finest.

The jumbo shells are stuffed with ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach, onions and garlic. They are full of flavor!

Ingredients

  • Jumbo Pasta Shells: Are cooked in salted water until al dente before baking. Make sure not to overcook the pasta.
  • Onions & Garlic: Are added to give the ricotta stuffed shells lots of flavor.
  • Spinach: I prefer to use fresh spinach however frozen spinach can be substituted. You can also substitute the spinach for kale in this recipe if you have it on hand.
  • Cheese: I use a blend of ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. I recommend buying the blocks of parmesan and mozzarella and shredding them yourself. They will add so much more flavor and won’t add as much water to the cheese stuffed shells.
  • Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite jar of marinara or use homemade tomato sauce.
  • Seasonings: I add in salt and pepper to taste.

How to make stuffed shells

  • Boil Pasta: Until al dente according to package directions.
  • Saute Veggies: Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until tender about 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Make Filling: Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl and add in ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Assemble: Spread about 1/2 of the sauce in the bottom of a 8 x8 or 9 x 9 baking dish. Stuff shells with the spinach cheese mixture and place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce.
  • Bake: In a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Serve: The Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with fresh basil and extra parmesan cheese.
  • Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: In a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Variations

  • Stuffed shells with meat: I kept this vegetarian however you can add in spicy sausage for a kick or shredded chicken for added protein.
  • Sauce: Instead of the jared marinara use your favorite homemade tomato sauce recipe. Vodka sauce or Alfredo sauce would also be delicious in this!
  • Extra Veggies: This is a great recipe to sneak in extra vegetables. I like to finely chop up carrots and celery and add it to my tomato sauce.

Ricotta Stuffed Shells | chefsavvy.com

Can I use frozen spinach?

Fresh or frozen spinach can be used in this recipe. Just make sure if you are using frozen spinach to defrost it and drain all of the extra moisture from the spinach. If you don’t the ziti will get soggy and watery.

Can I freeze stuffed shells?

Yes! These stuffed pasta shells freeze beautifully! Whenever I make this recipe I always double it and freeze the extra pan. This stuffed shells recipe will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed the next day!

Can this be made ahead?

Yes! These easy stuffed shells can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking.

What to serve with Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells | chefsavvy.com

Here are more Easy Pasta Recipes to try!

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells. Jumbo pasta shells stuffed with three types of cheeses and topped with pasta sauce!

Ingredients

  • 12-14 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • basil for serving if desired
  • extra parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the spinach mixture to a large bowl and add in ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  7. Spread about 1/2 of the sauce in the bottom of a 8 x8 or 9 x 9 baking dish.
  8. Stuff shells with the spinach cheese mixture and place in the baking dish.
  9. Top with the remaining sauce and bake for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
  10. Serve immediately with basil and parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Amount Per Serving
Calories 419 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 1242mg54%
Potassium 678mg19%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 3831IU77%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 479mg48%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Easy Dinner, Italian Food, Stuffed Shells, Weeknight Dinner

 

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Comments - page 2/3

  • Jesduca

    This was delicious and easy to make! My whole family enjoyed it and I got some spinach into my kids. I doubled the recipe and used the whole box of shells so
    I would have leftovers.

  • this is great but when and where do you put the marinara sauce it does not specify?

  • Hi Sarah,

    Spread about 1/2 of the sauce in the bottom of a 8 x8 or 9 x 9 baking dish. Stuff shells with the spinach cheese mixture and place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce and bake for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.

    Thanks & Enjoy!

    Kelley

  • Emma Casey

    Used frozen spinach but rung out as much moisture as possible.

  • Amneke Vera

    Excellent dish!!! My husband loved it and my 21/2 year old whose a picky eater ate 2 shells!! This made me so happy that she’s eating mamas good cooking!! Thanks so much for the recipe, this will be a common dinner dish for us! God bless.

  • Sylvia

    Absolutely delicious!! Made the recipe as is. Super recipe. Thank you.

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