Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells


  • 1 pound large shells
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parmesean

For the Filling

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 cup spinach finely chopped (see note)
  • salt and pepper 

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or finely minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 30 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest about 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Boil pasta shells until just shy of al dente – they should have a bit of a bite left to them.

For the Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet until just shimmering.

  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, and lemon zest.

  4. Simmer 7 minutes.

  5. Stir in fresh herbs.

For the Filling

  1. While the pasta cooks and the sauce simmers, combine all the filling ingredients except the spinach and mix well.

  2. Gently fold in the spinach until evenly dispersed. Extreme mixing will turn the ricotta green.

To Assemble

  1. In a 9×13 casserole dish, spread enough sauce to coat the bottom evenly.

  2. Put about 1 -1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each shell. Some of the shells will break and won’t be useable, usually I end up with a few leftover.

  3. Place stuffed shells in the pan in a single layer.

  4. Spoon remaining sauce evenly over the top.

  5. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan.

  6. Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes, until bubbly.

  7. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.


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