Perfectly cooked stuffed pasta shells filled with creamy ricotta cheese and sauteed spinach. A pasta dinner sure to satisfy the whole family.
The weekend has finally arrived and for some of us, that means a little more time to rest and relax.
When I have extra time, I usually spare some of it to create a tasty, semi-homemade meal, like our crockpot Salisbury steak.
For today’s post, we’re sharing our ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta shells. Like the name implies, pasta shells stuffed with a creamy ricotta and spinach filling.
So, shall we get started?
How to make stuffed pasta shells?
First, start by prepping your ingredients. Mince the garlic, cook the shells, and prepare the spinach.
Also, spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Next, grab a large mixing bowl and use a spoon to combine the ricotta cheese, egg, minced garlic, thyme, and basil.
Now, once the ingredients have been mixed, add all of the Parmesan cheese, two (2) cups of the shredded mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
When the filling is done, it should look similar to the photo below. Set it aside, it’s time to prep the baking dish.
Then, add about one (1) cup of marinara sauce to the baking dish. Spread it out evenly to create a layer of sauce between the bottom of the dish and the pasta shells.
Afterward, start filling the cooked pasta shells with the ricotta cheese filling. I recommend using a small kitchen spoon for this step.
Take a look at the photo above because, once the pasta shells are filled you’ll need to place them into the baking dish.
After that, pour the rest of the marinara sauce over the shells and cover them with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese.
Last, cover the cheesy pasta dish with aluminum foil and place it into the oven to bake.
Let it cook for about thirty (30) minutes and then remove the foil and let it bake for another ten (10) minutes or so. This is just to make sure the mozzarella cheese melts.
That’s it, your ricotta spinach stuffed pasta shells are done! You can serve them with side Cesar salad or garlic toast.
Kim and I hope you enjoy the dish and wish you all the best 🙂
Craving more tasty pasta? Then check out our new spaghetti arrabiata!
- You can save a little time by using frozen spinach. Simply, thaw it out and drain away the extra liquid before adding it to the filling.
- In regards to the salt and pepper to taste. If you’re worried about over salting the stuffed pasta shells, then leave it out until the dish is done. You can always add salt and pepper to taste once the dish is finished.
- This recipe also makes for an easy lasagna. Instead of using shells, place multiple layers of pasta sauce, oven-ready lasagna noodles, filling, and mozzarella into the dish and bake at 350 F. for at about forty-five (45) to sixty (60) minutes or until the noodles are soft.
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- 12 Ounces Jumbo Pasta Shells, (cooked per box instructions)
- 16 Ounces Spinach, (Sauteed and drained, or thawed and drained)
- 15 Ounces Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves, (minced)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Basil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme, (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme)
- 3 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, (by volume, 2 cups for filling, 1 cup for topping)
- 2 Cups Parmesan Cheese, (by volume)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 24 Ounces Marinara Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells and prepare spinach.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, garlic, basil, and thyme. Stir in 2 cups of mozzarella and all of the Parmesan cheese. Next, add the steamed spinach. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour ⅓ of the marinara sauce (about 1 cup) along the bottom of the baking dish. Fill the cooked shells with the ricotta mixture and line the baking dish with the filled shells. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. If desired, bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes to brown the cheese. Take care not to dry out the shells.
- Serve hot with a side salad and garlic bread.
The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of about three (3) to four (4) stuffed pasta shells. Actual calories will vary. Leftovers can be covered and stored in your fridge for about three (3) days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3 Shells
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1212mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 34g