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Friday, February 23, 2024
HomeVegetarian BlogsSpinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

I feel I might need simply made the final pasta dish… spinach and ricotta stuffed shells!

These big pasta shells are filled with garlicky sautéed spinach and creamy ricotta cheese, doused in a wealthy tomato sauce, and topped with a melty cheese topping. I actually cannot consider any higher mixture – all my favorite issues smooshed collectively.

It is onerous to go fallacious with a tacky pasta bake, however this has received to be my favorite one but.

Aerial shot of cheesy stuffed shells in a baking dish, topped with fresh herbs and cheese.

These stuffed shells have a little bit of every part I really like.

Spinach and ricotta is a wonderfully traditional mixture (I’ve used it to make dumplings, stuffed potatoes, and lentil slice, amongst different issues…), and when it is contrasted with the tangy tomato sauce, it is simply lovely!

These huge pasta shells are the right scoops to maintain every part contained. They’re severely satisfying to eat.

Plus, they’re tremendous easy to make – good for a comfy Sunday night, or to feed your hungry household. This recipe is a particular crowd-pleaser!

Soar to:

❤️ Why You may Love This Recipe

  • It is creamy, it is wealthy and tangy, it is tacky, it is gooey, it is hearty and comforting… Significantly, I can not overstate simply how insanely scrumptious these stuffed shells are!
  • The recipe is straightforward and straightforward to place collectively, with no pointless steps.
  • You’ll be able to pace issues up by utilizing an excellent high quality shop-bought sauce – or take the time to make your individual from scratch.
  • The dish might be ready upfront if wanted, so it is good for serving to visitors.
  • Any leftovers (for those who’re restrained sufficient to have them!) can simply be microwaved to reheat, or frozen till wanted.

🥗 Components

Here is what you will must make this recipe:

Ingredients needed for spinach and ricotta stuffed shells, with labels.
  • massive pasta shells – often known as conchiglioni.
  • tomato sauce. I used an excellent high quality shop-bought tomato sauce, as I needed to maintain issues tremendous easy. If you happen to’d desire to make your individual sauce, I extremely advocate my gradual cooker tomato sauce, which might be made with barely any effort!
  • ricotta cheese
  • contemporary spinach. You’ll be able to swap this for frozen spinach, for those who desire.
  • egg – to assist agency up the creamy filling because it bakes.
  • garlic
  • nutmeg. You’ll be able to skip this if you do not have it at hand, but it surely does add a very nice heat to the creamy pasta stuffing.
  • parmesan-style cheese. ‘Actual’ parmesan is not actually vegetarian, as it’s made with animal rennet. Be sure to discover a vegetarian model (typically simply referred to as ‘Italian onerous cheese’) as an alternative!

See the printable recipe card beneath for detailed ingredient portions.

👌 Prime tip

If you cannot discover massive pasta shells in your native grocery store, you should purchase them on-line – discover them on Amazon US / Amazon UK.

Alternatively, you might use one other ‘stuffable’ kind of pasta, like cannelloni or manicotti.

🔄 Recipe Adjustments

There are a number of methods you might adapt this recipe to make it simply best for you.

  • So as to add some further veg, attempt scattering some cooked peas or peppers by way of the dish with the pasta shells.
  • Or, for those who chop your greens finely sufficient, you’ll be able to add them to the spinach and ricotta stuffing. Some finely chopped mushrooms, for instance, could possibly be sautéed together with the spinach and garlic.
  • Use grated cheddar or mozzarella on prime of the shells for an much more melty, gooey end.
  • To make this recipe even faster to make, it’s also possible to simply adapt it to make use of another small form of pasta. Simply dollop the creamy spinach filling by way of the cooked pasta within the baking dish, moderately than stuffing the shells individually. It’s going to all style the identical in the long run!

📋 Directions

Here is make these tasty stuffed shells – see beneath for the printable recipe with detailed components and directions.

Large pasta shells boiling in a saucepan.

Step 1: Boil the pasta shells in line with the directions on the packet.

These massive shells have a behavior of getting cupped collectively within the pan (spooning in somewhat pasta cuddle), so poke them round a bit with a fork to ensure they’re all completely separate as they prepare dinner.

A collage showing fresh spinach before and after sautéing in a frying pan.

Step 2: Sauté the spinach with some garlic.

Contemporary spinach is infamous for cooking down a lot, so you must use fairly a big amount to start with. You’ll be able to add it to the pan somewhat at a time if it is in peril of spilling over!

A creamy spinach and ricotta mixture in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: When the spinach is cooked, mix it with the ricotta cheese, some grated parmesan, and an egg. I like so as to add somewhat floor nutmeg too, in addition to loads of salt and pepper.

Collage showing stuffed pasta shells being layered into a baking dish with tomato sauce.

Step 4: Stuff the spinach and ricotta combination into the cooked pasta shells, and place them right into a baking dish.

It is no downside if the stuffed shells have to be stacked on prime of one another – and please do not be too tidy about it! This does not must take all day. It’s going to find yourself tasting the identical, irrespective of how messy you are being.

👌 Prime tip

Add a skinny layer of tomato sauce to the underside of the baking dish, beneath the pasta. This may stop the pasta from sticking to the dish, and in addition ensures that you just get some tomatoey flavour all through each chunk.

Stuffed pasta shells in a baking dish topped with grated parmesan cheese, ready for baking.

Step 5: Prime the shells with the remaining tomato sauce and grated parmesan. Cowl the dish with a lid (or some kitchen foil, if you do not have an appropriate lid), and bake till every part is piping sizzling and the cheese is sweet and gooey.

A spoon scooping some spinach and ricotta pasta shells with tomato sauce from a baking dish.

💭 Stuffed Shells FAQs

Can I put together this dish upfront?

Sure – you’ll be able to put together every part upfront, however cease simply earlier than baking it. The ready dish might be saved within the fridge for a day or two, then baked if you’re able to serve. If you happen to’re utilizing a baking dish that is chilly from the fridge, be sure you do not preheat your oven – enable the dish and the oven to heat up slowly collectively, to stop any breakages.

Can this dish be frozen?

Sure – pasta bakes usually freeze very well! Simply switch any leftovers to an air-tight container, and freeze. I’d advocate defrosting the dish first, then reheating within the microwave to ensure it stays moist.

What different pasta shapes can I take advantage of?

Any ‘stuffable’ pasta form, like cannelloni or manicotti, can be utilized instead of the conchiglioni on this recipe. Alternatively, you’ll be able to even use any smaller pasta form, and skip the ‘stuffing’ step. Simply dollop the spinach and ricotta combination across the dish, together with the cooked pasta.

🧀 Extra Tacky Pasta Bakes

A portion of cheesy spinach stuffed shells in a bowl with garlic bread.

📖 Printable Recipe

A spoon scooping a spinach and ricotta stuffed shell in tomato sauce from a baking dish.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

These stuffed shells are the final word pasta dish! With garlicky sautéed spinach, creamy ricotta cheese, and a wealthy tomato sauce – all smothered in a melty cheese topping. Irresistible!

If you happen to’ve cooked this recipe, do not forget to go away a star score!


Prep Time: 25 minutes

Prepare dinner Time: 25 minutes

Complete Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 3 folks

Energy: 663kcal


  • Boil the pasta shells in loads of water till cooked al dente. Be sure the shells do not interlock within the pan, in any other case they will not prepare dinner evenly.

  • Whereas the pasta is cooking, warmth a splash of oil in a frying pan. Add the roughly chopped spinach and the chopped garlic, and prepare dinner over a medium warmth for a couple of minutes, till the spinach has wilted and any extra liquid has cooked off. In case you have a small pan, you’ll be able to add the spinach a handful at a time, after which add extra because it begins to prepare dinner down.

  • When the spinach has all wilted, add it to a mixing bowl, together with the ricotta cheese, half of the parmesan (maintain again the remainder for topping), the egg, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Combine completely to mix.

  • Unfold a few third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish – mine measured roughly 8 x 8 inches.

  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and rinse the shells beneath chilly water till they’re cool sufficient to deal with. Stuff every shell with a few teaspoon of the spinach and ricotta combination, and place it within the dish on prime of the tomato sauce. It is advantageous if the shells overlap, or if it’s good to make two layers. There is not any have to be too neat about it.

  • When you have got used up all the pasta shells and the stuffing combination, prime with the remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.

  • Cowl the dish with a lid (or some kitchen foil, if you do not have a lid), and bake at 190°C (Gasoline Mark 5 / 375°F) for round 20-25 minutes, or till every part is piping sizzling and the cheese topping is melty. Serve topped with contemporary herbs, if desired.


If it’s good to put together this dish upfront, cease simply earlier than baking. Retailer it within the fridge for a day or two till you are able to bake. If you happen to’re utilizing a baking dish that is chilly from the fridge, be sure you do not preheat your oven – enable the dish and the oven to heat up slowly collectively, to stop any breakages.
Leftovers might be frozen in an air-tight container. I’d advocate defrosting the dish first, then reheating within the microwave to ensure it stays moist.


Serving: 1 portionEnergy: 663 kcalCarbohydrates: 67.3 gProtein: 35.9 gFats: 28.3 gSaturated Fats: 11.4 gLdl cholesterol: 166 mgSodium: 1865 mgPotassium: 672 mgFiber: 4.9 gSugar: 6.9 gCalcium: 641 mgIron: 7 mg

Dietary data is approximate, and can rely in your actual components. Please calculate your individual dietary values for those who require accuracy for well being causes.

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