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”
Looks so good. Reminds me of a dish my mom used to make for me when I was a kid. Now, I wanna make some too!
I put fresh Parsley on top before I bake it. It not only gives it a better taste but also gives it more color.
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~
Thanks Charamine, you’re sweet!
can I use fresh spinach?
Yes, of course you can use fresh spinach! I used it for this dish and it worked out great. https://kareninthekitchen.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/2-in-1-lasagna-and-eggplant-parmigiana/
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.
Which spaghetti sauce did you use?
You can use any brand but I usually use one that is tomato basil flavored, or just marinara.
Just tried this today & it was DELICIOUS!
I’m so glad that you liked it!
This is in the oven right now and I am SO excited. Thank you for sharing this easy recipe (as I am no cook) 😉
I just stopped being afraid of vegetables and I’m 22… 🙂
If I use italian sausage, about how much should I use? Just want to make sure I have the ratio right.
I use one package with 5 links of sausage.
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!
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?
I would think without sauce the shells would dry out in the oven. I think that Alfredo sauce would work just fine. I would thin it out with some broth or milk though.
If I am out of tin foil how should I compensate?
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?
Could I freeze half of this? Should I freeze it after filling the shells and assembling right before baking?
I haven’t frozen this recipe myself , but I imagine you can do it just the same way you would lasagna. I would freeze it before baking.
Love this recipe! It was a great Sunday night dinner!
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 🙂
That sounds amazing!
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 🙂
If I were to make it with dried basil, how much would you suggest? I can’t wait to make this!
Dried herbs are stronger than fresh so I would definitely use about 1/3 to 1/2 the amount. Good luck!
Accidently just added all my mozzarella cheese to the filling! Think any other cheese would work on top?
Mozzarella is traditional, but any mild type cheese like it would work.
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!
I’m so glad that everyone liked it and I hope that your mom is okay!
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.
can I add a ground beef to this recipe
Yes, of course!
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.
When I add meat to this dish, I incorporate it into the cheese then stuff it in the shell. That way, each portion gets the same amount of meat.
Made these last night for my husband and he loved them. The leftovers are tasty too.Yum!
How many does this serve?
It should serve about 6 people depending on what side dishes you make with it.
How long does it take to bake. I don’t want to dry them out or overcook them.
My recipe says to bake 35 minutes, covered. If you want to make sure they don’t dry out, ladle on some extra sauce on top!
This recipe is awesome I added hamburger to the sauce and it was delicious!!!!
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
Making this now ! Fingers crossed !
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?
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.
So easy and yummy, AND, my picky-eater son loved these!
Yay, I’m so glad!
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!
So glad your family likes it! Great idea with the prosciutto too.