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Easy Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Stuffed shells with spinach are the perfect vegetarian weeknight meal. Make this easy pasta recipe ahead and bake it to cheesy perfection in under 30 minutes!
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Easy, Italian, North American, Weeknight Meal
Keyword Easy Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 410kcal
Author Chrissie


  • 250 grams jumbo shells pasta about 32 shells
  • 1 tablespoon salt for the pasta water

For the filling:

  • 750 grams ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil or fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh chopped basil or parsley, for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a large pot of water over high heat and add the salt. Let it come to a boil, and when it does, cook the jumbo shells pasta in the water for about 8 or 9 minutes (just short of al dente - follow the directions on the package!)
  • While the pasta cooks, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and the egg in a large bowl and mix together well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Be sure everything is well combined and all the ingredients are distributed evenly.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain it (but don't rinse it).
  • Add the marinara sauce into a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish that's been greased with a little bit of oil or cooking spray. Spread the marinara sauce into an even layer in the bottom of the dish.
  • One by one, add the filling into the shell pasta until full and nestle the shells into the marinara sauce. You can use a spoon for this job, or adding the filling to a piping bag works well too.
  • Fill all the shells and arrange them in rows in the baking dish.
  • Drizzle the 1/2 cup marinara sauce over the shells.
  • Top the shells with the grated mozzarella and grated parmesan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-37 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and has begin to brown slightly around the edges.
  • Top with some fresh chopped basil or parsley before serving (optional).


Prepare this meal in advance by completing all the steps up to baking, covering with plastic wrap (for an airtight seal) and store in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking, or in the freezer for up to a month. If reheating from frozen, thaw before baking as directed.. 


Serving: 4shells | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1695mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1292IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 425mg | Iron: 2mg