Europe Vegetarian Recipes

 Flavors of Italian cuisine -Italian Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

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Vegetarian – Europe

Italian Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells Recipe

Introduction: Indulge in the rich flavors of Italian cuisine with this delightful recipe for Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells. These jumbo pasta shells are generously filled with a creamy mixture of spinach and ricotta cheese, then baked to perfection in a bed of marinara sauce and topped with gooey melted mozzarella. This dish is a perfect balance of textures and flavors, making it a comforting and satisfying meal for any occasion.

Tips before You Start:

  1. Choosing Pasta Shells: Opt for jumbo pasta shells, which are larger and easier to stuff. Look for brands that hold their shape during cooking.
  2. Prepping Spinach: If using fresh spinach, ensure it’s thoroughly washed, stems removed, and chopped finely. If using frozen spinach, make sure to thaw and drain it well.
  3. Ricotta Cheese: Use whole milk ricotta for a creamy texture. Drain off excess liquid if necessary.
  4. Marinara Sauce: You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own. Look for a good-quality sauce without added sugars.
  5. Cheese Grating: Grate your mozzarella cheese fresh for optimal meltiness.
  6. Baking Dish: Choose an oven-safe baking dish that comfortably fits the stuffed shells in a single layer.


  • 20-24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, cooked and finely chopped (or 1 cup thawed, drained frozen spinach)
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil



  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the jumbo pasta shells according to the package instructions until they’re al dente. Drain and set aside.

Prepare Filling: 3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well until everything is thoroughly combined.

Stuff Pasta Shells: 4. Take each cooked jumbo pasta shell and spoon a generous amount of the spinach and ricotta mixture into it. Gently close the shell, ensuring the filling is securely encased.

Assemble: 5. Spread a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of your baking dish to prevent sticking.

  1. Pour half of the marinara sauce into the baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  2. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells on top of the marinara sauce.
  3. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the stuffed shells, covering them evenly.

Bake: 9. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Add Cheese and Finish Baking: 10. Remove the foil and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the stuffed shells.

  1. Continue baking, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges of the shells are lightly golden.

Serve: 12. Once done, remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.

Cooking Time:

  • Total cooking time: Approximately 45-50 minutes
  • Prep time: About 20 minutes
  • Baking time: 35-40 minutes

Enjoy your delicious Italian Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells with the perfect blend of creamy, cheesy, and saucy goodness!

(Note: Cooking times may vary based on your oven, so keep an eye on the dish as it bakes to ensure it doesn’t overcook or burn.)

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