Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
In this easy spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe, three cheeses combine with quick sauteed spinach, marinara sauce, and jumbo pasta shells for a hearty and comforting, crowd-pleasing vegetarian dinner.
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 spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe, 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.Print
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian-inspired
- Diet: Vegetarian
In this easy spinach and ricotta stuffed shells recipe, three cheeses combine with quick sauteed spinach and jumbo pasta shells for a hearty and comforting, crowd-pleasing vegetarian dinner.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Keywords: spinach stuffed shells, ricotta, baked pasta, easy dinner, vegetarian
How many ounces of fresh spinach yield 4 cups? And, can you use frozen chopped spinach?
Great recipe! I made 25 shells with the cheese mixture. Way more than 16. An 8 inch pan is way too small. My vegetarian son thoroughly enjoyed.
I have used your recipe several times and I have never taken the time to thank you. It is by far the best I’ve found and family and friends agree. Thank you so much
Thank you so much, C! That means a lot 🙂
I cooked it today and it turned out amazing! I’ve been using another recipe for years, but this one is so much better.
One thing though, I followed the recipe and used 16 shells and ended up with a lot of left over stuffing. Next time I’ll either cook more shells or make less stuffing.
Thank you for the amazing recipe!
Thank you so much for your comment, Natalia!!
Best stuffed shell recipe ever! This is a family favourite and yet elegant enough to serve dinner guests. 😋
Thank you so much, Debra!! So happy it’s a fave 🙂
simple and delicious!
Thank you, Martha!!