Spinach Stuffed Shells

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  • 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!

    ricotta 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:

    Pesto Sausage Pasta Bake
    Pasta Bake is the perfect easy pasta dish for busy weeknights. Creamy pesto sauce, penne, smoked sausage and Italian cheese make this the perfect meal.
    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.
    Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta
    shredded chicken with onions and tomato
    This Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare, is healthy and freezer friendly when cooked!
    Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
    A plate of Meatball and Spaghetti
    Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs just the way mom makes them. Just a handful of ingredients makes the perfect sauce.
    close up of ricotta stuffed shells for pinterest

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    spinach stuffed shells in a blue casserole dish
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    5 from 4 votes

    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.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time35 mins
    Course: Main Course, Main Dish
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: ricotta stuffed shells, spinach stuffed shells, stuffed shells
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 533kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    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: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 1897mg | Potassium: 1142mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 9367IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 605mg | Iron: 5mg

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