Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spinach Stuffed Shells

stuffed shells recipe

I've loved stuffed shells since I was a little kid.  My mom would pick some fresh stuffed shells up from the Italians' pasta shop for dinner when we had a babysitter.  I would say they are a very sneaky way to get kids to eat vegetables.  I hadn't had fresh shells in a long time, so when I started craving them yesterday, I decided to make some myself.  Not the pasta, just the filling of course, but the filling is the important part anyways.  These shells are stuffed with a ricotta-spinach-mozzarella mixture, simple and delicious.  You could also go a little bit wild and add other vegetables - mushrooms would be a good option.  The best part about these shells is they aren't terrible for you. They are stuffed with light versions of the cheeses and lots of spinach.  Instead of extra mozzarella, I've just sprinkled a bit of Parmesan on top and that was just the right amount of cheese.

Spinach Stuffed Shells

1/2 pound jumbo pasta shells
8 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups light ricotta
1 cup skim mozzarella
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
10 basil leaves, shredded
Salt and pepper
2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in salted water until just under al dente.  The pasta will continue to cook in the oven. Drain the pasta and let it cool so you can handle it. 

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet with a lid.  Add all of the spinach to the skillet, season it with a bit of salt and pepper, and cover it with a lid.  Cook it until it is wilted.  Remove the lid and allow some of the water to evaporate.  

While the spinach cooks stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, oregano, and basil.  Stir in the cooked spinach.  

Pour half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.  Fill the shells with 2 tablespoons of the spinach-ricotta mixture and line them in the dish.  Cover the shells with the remaining sauce and then cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook an additional 15 minutes.  In the last minute, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


  1. these look delicious! definitely going to try it. Do you just buy the shells at the grocery store?

    1. Yep, look for "jumbo shells" in the pasta aisle.

  2. This is making my mouth water!! I want some now please :)

  3. Hey Kelsey, I remember you and Taryn eating the stuffed shells!! I even enjoyed them. Yes, we had these often when I babysat you. Wow, thanks for the memory. This version looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. These shells look so soft and saucy and remind me of a smaller version of spinach and ricotta canneloni :D

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