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Last Updated on October 26, 2021 by Aimee
This Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe is a really tasty classic pasta dish. Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with spinach, three cheeses and layered over a marinara sauce. It also happens to be a great vegetarian dinner. Serve with a warmed loaf of crusty bread for mopping up those juices and you have a delicious meal that comes together in under an hour.
Combine ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella that you have shredded yourself. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-caking agents which keep the cheese from melting. It’s best to just buy the block of cheese and grate it yourself.
Add an egg and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
We’re using an entire 10 oz. bag of baby spinach. Add a touch of oil to a hot pan over medium high heat and saute until the spinach is wilted. You will have considerably less at this time. Allow to cool.
Add the spinach to the cheese mixture once cooled and stir really well to combine.
How about Chicken, Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells?
You sure can! Pair this with our Alfredo sauce option below. I highly recommend rotisserie chicken for this application.
These are what’s called JUMBO pasta shells. They are the biggest you’ll find and when cooked can reach 2 1/2″ in length! I cooked them for about 9-10 minutes and then removed to paper toweling to drain. They’ll also need to cool slightly so you don’t burn your fingers trying to stuff them!
CHEF’S NOTE: You will be cooking an entire 12 oz. box of Jumbo shells however you will have leftovers that are broken, partial shells or are torn. It’s best to cook the whole box and pick the sturdiest shells for this recipe.
Can I use another pasta with this filling?
If you don’t like or can’t find jumbo shells, Manicotti is a great option!
I’m using this round quiche dish and if you do use it, I would recommend reducing the sauce to 3/4 of the jar as the shells will expand and cause your sauce to potentially boil over.
Also for this same reason, I would not make this recipe without placing your baking dish of choice onto a lined cookie sheet to catch any of those drippings or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
This is the baking dish I’m using if you are interested (*affiliate link).
Can I make this with a sauce other than marinara?
Absolutely! This recipe works perfectly as a Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Alfredo Sauce recipe as well. Simply substitute the marinara for Alfredo.
For your first layer, you’ll want to begin on the edge of the pan.
Your second layer will fill in the center of the pan and then you’ll want to top with a sprinkling of parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and place on the top rack of your oven and bake until golden and bubbling. This took me about another 20 minutes or so. Every oven is different.
Can I freeze Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells?
Yes! Fully cook the entire recipe and then allow to cool. Store in freezer safe (preferably glass) containers for up to three months. To reheat, simply place in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and then either microwave or place in an oven safe pan and bake until warm.
Did you make my Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought. You can also tag me with your photos on Instagram @aimee_stock I love seeing your creations.
How about another awesome pasta recipe? These are some of my favorites:
- White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- Penne with Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce
- Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- Easy Classic Lasagna Recipe
- Chicken and Broccoli Penne Alfredo
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe
- Pasta or Stock Pot
- Non-Stick Skillet
- Baking Dish
- Lined Cookie Sheet
FOR THE PASTA:
- 12 oz Box of JUMBO Pasta Shells cook for 9-10 minutes, then drain on paper towels
FOR THE SPINACH:
- 1 tsp Oil
- 10 oz Bag of Spinach washed, dried and stems removed
- Garlic minced, to taste (OPTIONAL)
- Salt & Pepper
FOR THE SAUCE:
- Marinara or your favorite red sauce
FOR THE FILLING:
- 12 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 c Mozzarella shredded from a block
- 1/2 c Parmesan grated, plus more for topping
- 1 large Egg
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Warmed Crusty Bread
- Boil water in a large stock pot and add salt. Cook jumbo shells for 9-10 minutes and remove to paper towels to drain and cool enough to handle.
- Wash, spin dry and remove stems from a 10 oz bag of spinach. Add a teaspoon of oil to skillet over medium high heat and wilt the spinach. Allow to cool.
- Combine the three cheeses and the egg, then season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled spinach, stirring well to combine.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
- Add marinara to the bottom of your baking dish, taking care not to over fill. The pasta will expand and the sauce will boil during cooking. This is why we use a cookie sheet to catch any potential drippings.
- Using a spoon, stuff the cooked pasta shells with the filling and place along the outer rim of your baking dish. Create a second ring of pasta shells to fill the center and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, then remove the foil and transfer the sheet pan to the top rack of the oven, cooking for another 20 mintues or until the pasta shells are golden and the sauce is bubbling.
- Allow to cool for a minute or two before serving with your favorite crusty bread. Enjoy!