Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are a cinch to make and bake.  They are also a great make-ahead dinner item.  They can sit in the fridge during the day and just bake them right before dinner time and voila, dinner is ready!

My only problem is that my daughter doesn’t eat anything green.  So her plate ends up with all the cheesy stuffing and the shells are devoured quickly.  That’s why I always cook extra shells just for her.  Can someone please tell me when this perpetual-fear-of-vegetables stage will be over?

Combine the ricotta, spinach, basil, egg, nutmeg and salt and pepper and mix well.

The options are endless as to what you’d like to add to your stuffing…………fresh herbs, bacon, prosciutto, Italian sausage.  You can also substitute the spinach with artichokes or any other vegetable.

If you add a protein, this dish would hit all the food groups; meat group, dairy group, vegetable group, and pasta group.

Here’s the lovely mixture.  I really could just eat this with a spoon………..except for the raw egg part.

Use the jumbo shells.

I always cook extra shells,  for my picky daughter and also because some will break in the boiling process.

Once stuffed, cover with sauce and cheese and bake.  Simple and delicious!


Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells 

24 jumbo pasta shells

1 15-oz. container ricotta

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

10 leaves fresh basil, chopped

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce


1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, spinach, basil, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

2. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.

3. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.

62 thoughts on “Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

    1. I put fresh Parsley on top before I bake it. It not only gives it a better taste but also gives it more color.

  1. Once again Karen I’m using one of your delicious recipes!! It’s in the oven now and we will enjoy it before we leave for Danny’s game tonight. I tell Everyone about your cooking….thanks for helping all of us to switch things up.
    Have a great night~

  2. I have 7 kids and its hard finding everything everyone likes but these were so good not one complaint we ate it with salad. It’s a must keep Recipe and very easy to make.

  3. Yea! Another recipe to add to my rotation for meatless Mondays! I make a spinich pasta dish they already love, and I know they will love this one, too! Thanks!

  4. Can you cook the stuffed pasta shells without the sauce? What about other sauces? I was thinking of using an Alfredo sauce with this. Can I cook it the same way or can I just cook the noodles and drizzle sauce over it when done?

    1. Baking the shells without foil over the pan will dry it out. You can try and compensate by adding extra sauce over the shells before baking. Or, do you have a nice neighbor you can ask for some foil?

  5. This sounds so simple yet so good. What I did is add a little bacon to add a little crunch and add a little more flavor. Definitely going to make this again 🙂

  6. I made this on this past weekend and it was fantastic! I will definitely make it again, as it meets my two main meal requirements: delicious and easy. I think I will add bacon next time. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  7. If I were to make it with dried basil, how much would you suggest? I can’t wait to make this!

  8. I’ve always been afraid to make this. My mom was recently in the hospital and had this and I got inspired to make it. Did a pinterest search and your recipe came up. I made it tonight & everyone loved it! This will definitely be in the rotation going forward. So yummy & easy to make!

  9. I used brown rice pasta and tossed the cheese mixture with it. Then spread it out in a dish and added the tomato sauce and cheese. Just a tad healthier and just as delish. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

      1. What do you think is the best way to incorporate the ground beef/turkey? In the sauce and pour over or mix it up in the cheese mixture? I was thinking of prepping this the night before.

  10. I have brothers that don’t like veggies, my mom made some of the shells with the rice, cheese, and beef stuffing (like stuffed green peppers) for the non veggie eaters

  11. If I am going to make it ahead of time do I prepare the whole dish and put it in the fridge or do I need to only make the filling ahead of time?

    1. If you would like, you can make the whole dish ahead of time and refrigerate or even freeze it. If you freeze, just make sure to wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil. I also added extra sauce over the top and watered it down a little bit. When you freeze this dish, the pasta tends to dry out so extra sauce helps to reconstitute it when baking.

      I’ve made this dish to bring to a friend and I assembled the whole thing and took it to her to so she could bake it when her family was ready to eat.

  12. This is a fam favorite. This time, I sautéed a bunch of spinach with chopped prosciutto and mixed with ricotta mixture. In the oven now. Can’t wait!

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