Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells with Spinach and Ricotta | Fork Knife Swoon

Growing up, I was one of those bizarre children who actually liked eating vegetables. For a long time, spinach was my very favorite, and I would eat big bowls of it simply steamed, or sometimes with a little sprinkling of cheese. I loved those leafy greens. Before you envy my parents having a child content to munch on spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, tomatoes, or other fresh produce procured in our family vegetable garden, they also lived through my angst-filled adolescent years, and I’m sure they’ll remind you that it all evens out in the end.

Today we still eat a lot of spinach, and I like incorporating it into recipes for a healthy boost. In this dish, we combine quick sauteed spinach with creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, all tucked in to extra-large pasta shells and baked to bubbly goodness. The result is a healthy and hearty baked pasta dish that makes for a crowd-pleasing vegetarian meal.

4.8 from 12 reviews

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Yield: 4 Servings
Ingredients
  • 16 jumbo pasta shells (Cook a couple of extra shells to allow for a few breaking while the pasta cooks.)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves, roughly-chopped
  • 12 oz skim-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded skim-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about a minute or two. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves begin to wilt but are still bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. The spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a shallow 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the spinach and ricotta mixture, and place in the baking dish.
  4. Cover with the remaining sauce and bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top begins to brown and the sauce begins the bubble, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a dusting of Parmesan.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Chris says

    Will attempt my first ravioli/pierogi with homemade pasta tonight and was looking for a spinach ricotta filling and I will try this one. The shells look extremely tempting, but I really must try my own pasta first!

    • Chris says

      I don’t understand the following: “The spinach should be reduced by half.” The amount? Wy waste 2 cups of spinach? Not sure what to do…

      • says

        No, no! Don’t throw away the spinach! What that means is that the spinach will cook down considerably, reducing the overall volume of spinach by about half (as much of the natural water in the spinach cooks away.) You’ll end up using the full amount you start with… Hope that helps!

  2. says

    All I can say is ‘YUM!” I found this recipe on Pinterest and my husband and I absolutely loved it! We made it two weeks in a row! Really flavourful and filling, yet still light. Definitely a new favorite so thank you!

  3. Kelly says

    A friend made this for me after I had my third baby, it was SO delicious that it’s now my go-to when bringing people food or cooking for others! Making it today for my bookclub! This recipe is a total home run!

    • says

      This was fantastic. Thank you I looked like I have been cooking for years. The wife loved it and I now have lunch tomorrow besides a great dinner tonight . The hardest part was buying the food . Then the anticipation of this bothered me a little, I hate to wait as I am a fast food guy. So glad I made this.
      Great recipe … Thanks

  4. Heaven says

    Hello, this sounds like a lovely recipe! I dont have much cooking experience because I’m still young, only sixteen and I’m trying to find new and cheap recipes. I’m definitely going to try this one, but what would you recommend on the side? Green beans, sala, carrots?

  5. Deborah says

    I made these for a tough crowd on New Year’s Eve this past year for a progressive dinner, the main course being at our home. (Three of my guests were siblings whose father was a professional chef and they’re very opinionated where cuisine is concerned.) I got RAVE reviews on these shells! I had wanted a recipe that would help use the large tub of spinach I frequently buy at Sam’s Club and this recipe was just the ticket. I didn’t have fresh basil in the house so I used dried but otherwise, pretty much followed the recipe as written. It was great to be able to make these up the evening before and we set our oven to come on while we were having appetizers at House #1 on our dinner tour. I am going out of state to care for my elderly parents soon and will be taking the ingredients to WOW my Italian mama and father when I make them dinner. These freeze really, really well so the leftovers will go into their freezer for their caregiver to warm up for them at a later date. Great, easy and delicious recipe! Thanks!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Monday: Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wrap Tuesday: Honey Broiled Salmon with Parmesan Roasted Green Beans & Twice Baked Red Potatoes Wednesday: Personal Pizza (My favorite is with Caramelized Onions,  Fresh Mozzarella, Pesto and Steak. You can of course go nuts and get your own toppings. Just follow directions for whichever dough you choose to use from your grocery list.) Thursday: Stuffed Red Peppers w/ Side of Spanish Rice Friday: Baked Stuffed Shells […]

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