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Sometimes you want something warm, creamy and comforting in your belly, don’t you? I do. Pasta shells stuffed with spinach and ricotta, topped with a tangy tomato sauce is the perfect meal for such cravings.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I make a Simple Tomato Sauce, but if you want to keep things quick and easy, use a store bought marinara sauce. One ingredient that can make or break this dish is the ricotta. Use a high quality brand such as Bel Gioioso Ricotta, or you may be able to find locally made ricotta at a farmer’s market near you. I have found that when I have used store or generic brands, I’ve ended up with gritty textured fillings, when it should be creamy and slightly sweet in flavor. This is also a great recipe to make ahead of time and reheat, and makes for delicious leftovers.

Spinach ricotta shells sauce 2 (1 of 1)
Spinach ricotta egg (1 of 1)
Spinach ricotta shells sauce (1 of 1)


Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 8-once ball fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 23-ounce jar store bought marinara sauce or Simple Tomato Sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  3. Add the pasta shells and stir.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water.
  6. Spoon 1 cup of tomato sauce into a 10”x 14” (or of similar size) baking dish and spread it around so it covers the bottom of the dish.
  7. Squeeze the water out of the spinach and place in a large bowl.
  8. Sauté the shallots in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for two to three minutes until they are softened and then place the shallots in the bowl with the spinach.
  9. Add the egg, ricotta, ½ cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper in with the spinach and mix thoroughly.
  10. Spoon a heaping tablespoonful of the spinach mixture into each shell.
  11. Nestle shells against each other in the baking dish.
  12. Spoon additional tomato sauce over shells.
  13. Cover with foil and bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  15. Serve with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.



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