Spinach Stuffed Shells

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These Spinach Stuffed Shells are filled with creamy ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and spinach then baked in marinara sauce with melting cheese on top. Kids and adults love this dinner!

Spinach Stuffed Shells are a great make-ahead meal.

Stuffed Shells with Spinach

I love the convenience of stuffed shells for a meal I can make early in the day and bake later, when I’m ready to serve dinner.

For an added reason to love this meal, you can refrigerate the prepared meal (before baking) for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months!

Full make-ahead directions are listed directly above the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

Spinach Stuffed Shells Recipe

This is another winner from Gina’s collection of awesome cookbooks. These Spinach Stuffed Shells are adapted from her recipe in the Skinnytaste Meal Prep cookbook. (I love love LOVE that there are make-ahead options for the fridge and for the freezer included with these recipes!)

And lest you forget, the ever-so-popular Cabbage and Sausage Skillet is from her One and Done cookbook!

Spinach Stuffed Shells are a hearty dinner that you can make ahead of time.

Stuffed Shells Ingredients

  • jumbo pasta shells
  • eggs
  • ricotta cheese
  • frozen chopped spinach
  • finely grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • black pepper
  • marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Favorite Make-Ahead Meals

As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t many things better than a meal that can be prepared at your convenience and then later served at its best.

Pasta Salad is the original make-ahead meal as far as I’m concerned. It keeps beautifully for days in the refrigerator and I’m always happy to eat it for lunch or dinner. (There’s a reason I’ve shared dozens of pasta salads here on the website. The convenience can not be beaten.)

The crock-pot is another option for prepping early in the day. Italian Red Wine Pork Roast, Crock-Pot Chicken Fajitas, and Busy Day Potato Soup are a few of my go-to dinners.

Casserole-style meals like Chicken Enchiladas, Cabbage Roll Casserole, or Mexican Lasagna are always popular choices as well.

Creamy stuffed shells with spinach

Can I Freeze Stuffed Shells?

Yes! Stuffed shells are a terrific make-ahead meal. Follow the directions below to have dinner ready whenever you need it.

To refrigerate and serve later: Before baking, the dish can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated. Bake from the fridge, covered at 375°F for 40-45 minutes, until heated through.

To freeze and serve later: Before baking, the dish can be prepared in a freezer-to-ovenproof baking dish, covered tightly, and frozen for up to 3 months.

Bake from frozen (no need to thaw) at 375°F, covered, until heated through in the center, and bubbling on the edges, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until any liquid on the edges dries up, 15-20 minutes more.

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Spinach Stuffed Shells are a hearty dinner that you can make ahead of time.

Spinach Stuffed Shells

These Spinach Stuffed Shells are filled with creamy ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and spinach then baked in marinara sauce with melting cheese on top. Kids and adults love this dinner!
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Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • kosher salt
  • 20-24 jumbo pasta shells about half of a 9-oz box
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-squeezed to remove water
  • 1 cup (about 3 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce homemade or store bought

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the shells, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain well and run under cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain again.
  • In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Stir in the ricotta, spinach, parmesan, parsley, and 1½ cups mozzarella. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the filling to a gallon-size freezer bag.
  • Spread 1½ cups marinara sauce in a 9×13 baking dish. Snip off a corner of the bag with the filling and squeeze the filling into the shells, arranging 20-24 filled shells in the baking dish in a single layer. Top with the remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
    Stuffed Shells with Spinach
  • Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and bubbling on the edges, 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 10 minutes more, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has fully melted.
    Spinach Stuffed Shells are a hearty dinner that you can make ahead of time.
  • Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.

Notes

To refrigerate and serve later: Before baking, the dish can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and refrigerated. Bake from the fridge, covered at 375°F for 40-45 minutes, until heated through.
To freeze and serve later: Before baking, the dish can be prepared in a freezer-to-ovenproof baking dish, covered tightly, and frozen for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen (no need to thaw) at 375°F, covered, until heated through in the center, and bubbling on the edges, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until any liquid on the edges dries up, 15-20 minutes more.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal · Carbohydrates: 26g · Protein: 30g · Fat: 24g · Saturated Fat: 14g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 7g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 135mg · Sodium: 1242mg · Potassium: 736mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 5965IU · Vitamin C: 14mg · Calcium: 600mg · Iron: 3mg
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Stuffed Shells with Spinach

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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