Stuffed shells are a delicious dinner any night of the week. The jumbo pasta shells are packed with creamy ricotta cheese and spinach filling, topped with a tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
I used to think making Italian stuffed shells was hard, but once I learned how to make it myself, I realized how easy it really is. It’s all about the assembly.
This stuffed shells with spinach recipe is full of flavor with the Italian seasonings and garlic, but the added creaminess from the spinach and ricotta cheese is what makes this a real winner.
Stuffed Shells Ingredients
- jumbo shells – 1 box of jumbo pasta shells
- ricotta cheese – this is similar to how you make the filling in lasagna
- creamed spinach – this is what makes this recipe do easy, and delicious!
- mozzarella cheese – to add extra cheesiness
- garlic, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper – for great flavor
- spaghetti sauce – you can use marinara also
- parmesan cheese – use a good parmesan because you’ll get the best flavor
How to Make Stuffed Shells
Start by cooking the shells per the package instructions, but leave them slightly al dente. Drain and rinse them and set aside to cool.
Next, mix together the ricotta cheese, thawed creamed spinach, 8 ounces of the mozzarella, garlic, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.
Pour a small amount of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
Take each pasta shell and fill it with the cheese and spinach mixture.
Arrange the shells in the pan in rows, approximately 5 per row.
Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over shells and top with the remainder of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Tips and Substitutions
Add ground beef or sausage to the marinara sauce and pour over shells before baking.
Use regular frozen spinach instead of the creamed spinach. Just thaw and squeeze the excess water from the spinach.
Make it ahead by stopping just before baking. Cover and refrigerate. Remove covering before baking and bake as directed.
What to Serve with This Recipe?
This baked shells recipe is perfect to pair with a side salad, garlic bread, or Italian bread.
Want More Dinner Recipes?
- 1, 12 oz. box Jumbo shells
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1- 10 oz. package frozen creamed spinach thawed
- 16 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded and separated
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 24-28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
- parmesan cheese
- basil garnish
- Preheat oven to 350
- In large stock pot or sauce pan, bring water to boil and add jumbo shells. Boil about 10-12 minutes, or until shells are tender. Drain and rinse. Set aside to cool.
- In large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, thawed creamed spinach, 8 oz. of shredded mozzarella, garlic, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine.
- Pour a small amount of spaghetti sauce on bottom of a 9×13 pan and spread to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Take each shell and stuff with the cheese and spinach mixture.
- Arrange shells in the pan in rows (approximately 5 per row). You may end up with some shells left over.
- Pour remained of spaghetti sauce over shells. Top with remainder of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.