Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

By Rena |

You will love this Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta recipe! Jumbo pasta shells are loaded with mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan, then topped with marinara and baked until tender and the cheese is melty. This easy pasta dinner is ready in 45 minutes!

Spinach ricotta pasta

Jumbo pasta shells make the perfect delivery device for a scrumptious 3 cheese filling! When it comes to hearty and delicious, you can’t beat a cheesy baked pasta dish like these Stuffed Pasta shells. Meat eaters and vegetarians unite! This will please the whole family any night of the week. So easy to put together and so tasty and filling.

Pasta dishes are easy and can be served in so many ways, perfect for weeknights. Why not also try my rich and Creamy Wild Mushroom Pasta or my delicious Asparagus Chicken Pasta!

cheese stuffed pasta shells

Why this is so good

  • A Hearty Vegetarian Dish: Big pasta shells, packed with cheese and smothered in sauce, it’ll please all!
  • A Delicious Filling: 3 cheese filling, for an ooey-gooey bite!
  • Easy: Only a few mins prep, easy ingredients. 45 mins from the pantry to the table.

 

Ingredients

  • Marinara Sauce: Homemade or Store-bought.
  • Pasta: Use jumbo pasta shells, cook according to package instructions.
  • Cheese: Ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella. A deliciously gooey mix!
  • Spinach: Ideally fresh.
  • Egg: Ideally free-range/organic.
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic: Fresh and finely minced.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Optional. Adjust to taste.

 

How to make this Stuffed Pasta

  • Cook the Pasta: According to package direction, cook to al dente.
  • Make the Filling: Wilt the spinach with boiling water, then in a mixing bowl, combine the cheeses and stir in the egg and spinach.
  • Bake: Stuff the pasta shells. Then Cover in marinara sauce and some mozzarella and bake in the oven for 30 mins.

 

chopped greens

cheese and spinach filling for stuffed pasta

Can I use frozen spinach?

Fresh or frozen spinach can be used in this recipe. Just make sure if you are using frozen spinach to defrost it and drain all of the extra moisture from the spinach. If you don’t the shells will get soggy and watery.

Can I freeze stuffed shells?

You can. In fact, these stuffed pasta shells freeze really well! This is great for planning your meals ahead. You can double the recipe and freeze the extra pan. This stuffed shell recipe will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed the next day.

top down shot of stuffed pasta

Recipe Variations

This is a versatile recipe, you can choose different melty cheeses, add other veggies, and even throw in some other protein.

This is a hearty vegetarian dish, it’ll please even the most voracious of appetizer, but you could use crumbled sausage or shredded chicken for added protein.

Instead of the jarred marinara use your favorite tomato pasta sauce especially if you have a fave!  Vodka sauce or Alfredo sauce would also be great for this!

This is a great recipe to bring in extra veggies. You can dice some carrots and zucchini and add them to the tomato sauce.

overhead of stuffed pasta

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Boil your pasta to al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Use any pasta you prefer
  • Shred your own cheeses. Buying the blocks of Parmesan and mozzarella and shred them yourself, this adds so much more flavor and won’t add as much water to the cheese stuffed shells.
  • Top with fresh basil, for a fresh finish.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

easy vegetarian pasta recipe

spoon with pasta

Making this easy vegetarian stuffed pasta shells recipe? We would love to get some feedback. Please leave us a comment in the comment section below and let us know what you think. Also, don’t forget to share it with friends and family!

Other delicious pasta dishes

 

spoonful of stuffed pasta shells

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vegetarian pasta

Spinach ricotta pasta

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta. Jumbo pasta shells are loaded with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan, then topped with marinara and baked until tender and the cheese is melty. This easy pasta dinner is ready in 45 minutes!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
Calories: 363kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce homemade or store-bought
  • 20 Jumbo Pasta Shells cooked according to directions listed on the package
  • 10 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • 10 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella Cheese finely shredded, divided
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 3 tbsp. Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with some oil.
  • Spread 1/3 cup marinara sauce evenly into the dish and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and pasta. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes or a little less than al dente. Once done, drain and rinse with the cold water.
  • Next, boil a kettle full of water. Place the spinach in a colander and set it over the sink.
  • Now carefully pour the boiling water over the spinach so the hot water wilts the leaves.
  • Once the leaves are wilted, immediately run under the cold water. Squeeze as much water as you can from the spinach leaves, then chop into bite-size pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Stir in chopped spinach and crack an egg. Add garlic, basil, salt, and black pepper; mix until very well combined.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture into the pasta shells and place it into the prepared baking dish, nestling them in the sauce.
  • Pour remaining marinara sauce over shells and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes until cheese on top is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Notes

  • Boil your pasta to al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven.
  • Shred your own cheeses. Buying the blocks of Parmesan and mozzarella and shred them yourself, this adds so much more flavor and won’t add as much water to the cheese stuffed shells.
  • Top with fresh basil, for a fresh finish.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5678IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @HealthyFitnessMeals or tag #HealthyFitnessMeals!

cheese stuffed pasta shells

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Comments

  1. WP says

    I made this recipe today and can’t wait to taste it! It was very simple and easy to follow. I used lasagna noodles, that I cut in half, instead of pasta Shells and they worked perfectly!

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