Spinach Stuffed Shells

Pasta night just got SO much more delicious! This easy Spinach Stuffed Shells recipe is full of cheesy goodness and makes a great weeknight meal.

spinach and ricotta stuffed shells in a blue casserole dish with cheese


 

With ingredients like ricotta cheese, roasted red peppers, and spinach, these Spinach Stuffed Shells make for an easy and comforting meal!

We love any type of pasta at our house. But we especially love it when it’s stuffed with CHEESE! I have a few stuffed shells recipes that we rotate pretty frequently:

But I decided to mix things up a little with these Spinach Stuffed Shells! They take a classic Italian dish and take it up a notch with ingredients like roasted red peppers and prosciutto.

close up of ricotta stuffed shells

How to Make Stuffed Shells

After you’ve cooked your jumbo shells, cover them with a damp paper towel to keep them moist while you prepare the filling (see below). It makes them easier to stuff when cooked to al dente.

Remember they’ll cook a little bit more once you put them into the oven.

cooked stuffed shells stuffed with ricotta, spinach and roasted red pepper

Make the perfect filling and gently handle the shells using a spoon to stuff. Top with more sauce and cheese so the pasta doesn’t get all crispy while baking.

Stuffed shells can also be made ahead of time (up to a day in advance.) Just fill them, top them with sauce and even the cheese, cover and wait up to 24 hours to bake them.

stuffed shells ready to be cooked

They are also freezer friendly, but I recommend freezing after they are baked.

Spinach Stuffed Shells Filling

The trick for really good stuffed shells is making sure you get enough water out of the ingredients. Both spinach and roasted red peppers carry a lot of extra water, so you want to make sure that you drain them well.

ricotta cheese filling for stuffed shells

Another trick is to leave the spinach and peppers in a single thin layer on a dry paper towel and put them in the refrigerator. The cold air will naturally help dry them out. This prevents shells from having a lot of water pooling at the bottom when they cook.

You also want to make sure you use a low moisture cheese. Cheeses have a lot of water in them just like the spinach and peppers.

ricotta stuffed shells on a cutting board

Higher moisture might be good for eating plain cheese like mozzarella, but you want something with a part skim low moisture to both melt easily and also not produce excess liquid when you are baking a dish like these easy Spinach Stuffed Shells.

Also, I always use eggs in my stuffed shells filling. The eggs act as a bonding agent to hold everything together (much like when you’re making meatballs!)

pasta shells stuffed with ricotta cheese

What to serve with Stuffed Shells

Spinach stuffed shells can be served as a side dish or an entrée. Tonight I served mine with chicken Parmesan because I only had a little bit of ricotta cheese left so I just made a half a batch.

If serving them as a main dish, you can always opt for a green, leafy salad. And don’t forget the garlic bread!

spinach stuffed shells in a blue casserole dish

These stuffed shells are also an awesome way to hide vegetables in your kids’ food! My two-year-old loves food, she eats almost everything. Truffle oil, salmon, a whole bunch of gourmet foods and she won’t blink an eye. So I thought she’d just gobble down red peppers, too.

But when it comes to roasted red peppers the girl won’t touch them. She’s even picked out minced roasted red peppers from rice pilaf. It’s insane!

close up of baked stuffed shells

However when I fed her these spinach stuffed shells she didn’t even notice that there were roasted red peppers and spinach in them! Maybe it will be the same for your picky kiddos!

spinach and ricotta stuffed shells for pinterest

More of my favorite pasta recipes:

overhead shot of plate of sausage pasta bake

Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake

4.91 from 41 votes
Pesto Pasta Bake is the perfect easy pasta dish for busy weeknights. Creamy pesto sauce, pasta, smoked sausage and Italian cheese make this the perfect meal.
See The Recipe!
skillet of gnocchi in a cream sauce

Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi

4.78 from 9 votes
Easy to make and tossed in a creamy mascarpone sauce, this Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi recipe will be your new favorite dinner recipe!
See The Recipe!
close up of balsamic chicken pasta

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta

4.53 from 21 votes
This Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta is an easy chicken recipe using balsamic reduction, tomatoes and mushrooms over pasta.
See The Recipe!
A plate of Meatball and Spaghetti

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

5 from 10 votes
Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs just the way mom makes them. Just a handful of ingredients makes the perfect sauce.
See The Recipe!
close up of ricotta stuffed shells for pinterest
spinach stuffed shells in a blue casserole dish

Spinach Stuffed Shells

5 from 4 votes
Pasta night just got SO much more delicious! This easy Spinach Stuffed Shells recipe is full of cheesy goodness and makes a great weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach to the skillet and toss with tongs until fully wilted.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine drained ricotta, roasted red peppers, spinach, parmesan cheese, eggs and fine sea salt. Mix well.
  • Stuff mixture into al dente cooked pasta shells, placing snuggly into a baking dish.
  • Cut 10 pieces of prosciutto into half lengthwise. Wrap each shell in a piece of prosciutto. Set aside.
  • Top with marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until shells are fully heated.
  • Remove and top with minced parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how you liked it!

Notes

You can use frozen, but make sure it is thawed and thoroughly drained of water.

Nutrition

Calories: 533 kcal, Carbohydrates: 44 g, Protein: 33 g, Fat: 26 g, Saturated Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 160 mg, Sodium: 1897 mg, Potassium: 1142 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 9367 IU, Vitamin C: 37 mg, Calcium: 605 mg, Iron: 5 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 533
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: ricotta stuffed shells, spinach stuffed shells, stuffed shells
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is wonderful! The ricotta stuffing is so flavorful and delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    These stuffed shells are so tasty, and so easy to make, too. The whole family just loves them!
    PRO-TIP: Reheat leftover shells in the morning in an oiled cast iron skillet (sort of like you would a potsticker) and top with a fried egg! SO good!

  3. 5 stars
    Stuffed shells is a meal that always goes down a treat in my house. I bet my kids would love this.